Chevron suspended the purchases in the first quarter because it cannot buy back shares when it possesses important nonpublic information — in this case the pending Anadarko acquisition — said Chief Financial Officer Pierre Breber. He said the company probably won’t purchase any shares in the second quarter due to other restrictions related to the merger process.
Once the transaction is complete, Chevron intends to resume the purchases at a rate of $1.25 billion each quarter, he said.
In light of Occidental’s rival bid, Wirth said the timeline to close the deal “is probably a little different today than I would have told you a couple of weeks ago.” However, he still thinks it could be completed in the third quarter.
Occidental is offering $76 a share for Anadarko, topping Chevron’s $65 per share bid and sparking speculation that the oil major may have to sweeten its offer. On Friday, J.P. Morgan analyst Phil Gresh asked if there is a price level at which Chevron would back out of the deal, should Anadarko shareholders seek a higher bid.
“Of course the answer to that is yes there is,” Wirth said. “This isn’t the time to address that specifically, but we’ve said we will do things that are value-creating for our shareholders. And we don’t need to do anything. We’ve got a very strong story without doing a transaction.”