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Independent oil and gas firm Neptune Energy Group is reportedly considering merging with UK-based Harbour Energy.

The potential merger could result in the creation of one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in Europe, reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg data, a potential deal will combine the two independent energy explorers with significant assets in the UK North Sea, and in emerging markets, including North Africa and South East Asia. The combined company could be valued at $10bn or more.

Neptune Energy is working with an undisclosed adviser on the potential combination with Harbour.

Part-owned by Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners, Neptune is also considering other options, including an initial public offering (IPO) in 2022 or an outright sale.

In May 2021, The Times reported that Neptune was considering a potential IPO. The move could value the business at about $9.9bn.

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By GlobalData

For assessing options, Neptune Energy has been working with Goldman Sachs Group, Rothschild & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co, according to the news agency.

Although deliberations over the options are in the early stages, the company could also opt to remain independent, the undisclosed sources told the publication.

Harbour Energy was created through the combination of North Sea producers Premier Oil and Chrysaor in a deal that was completed earlier this year.

In April 2021, Harbour Energy CEO Linda Cook said that the firm was seeking potential acquisition opportunities in at least one more region beyond the North Sea.