ADNOC exploring acquisition of BASF’s Wintershall Dea unit -Bloomberg News

(Reuters) -Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) is exploring a potential acquisition of Wintershall Dea, the European energy business backed by BASF SE, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Any deal could value Wintershall Dea at more than 10 billion euros ($11 billion), Bloomberg News reported. UK-listed Harbour Energy Plc is also among suitors that have been evaluating the business the report added, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

BASF and Wintershall Dea did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. ADNOC and Harbour Energy declined to comment.

Separately, BASF is negotiating with the German government about state guarantees for the Russian activities of Wintershall Dea, according to local press reports last month.

Wintershall Dea, a joint venture of BASF and Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s investment firm LetterOne, has spoken of “new realities” since Moscow invaded Ukraine, causing it to de-consolidate its Russian activities. The group has been one of the most exposed German firms there with Russia accounting for half of its production.

In April this year, BASF CEO Martin Brudermueller said it was working to exit energy business Wintershall Dea, with a market listing being the preferred option.

($1 = 0.9168 euro)

(Reporting by Gursimran Kaur in Bengaluru and Emma-Victoria Farr in Frankfurt; editing by David Evans and Jonathan Oatis)