A Most Unlikely Suitor Eyes BP
It appears that BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, has the most unlikely of suitors.
The name about to be revealed isn’t Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) or Exxon Mobil (XOM), two of a small number of companies that could legitimately swallow BP, which has a market cap of over $140 billion. And no, it’s not even Chevron (CVX) or one of the Chinese oil majors. The latest suitor with an eye toward embattled BP is German artist Ruppe Koselleck.
After a 2001 vacation to a Dutch beach along the North Sea, Koselleck had to remove tar from his daughter’s feet, and the task reminded the artist that his father had to do the same for the young Koselleck years before, according to United Press International.
Inspired by the tar-removing endeavor, Koselleck is aiming to be a one-man corporate wrecking crew and has created works of art using oil he found along North Sea beaches. He uses half the profits to pay the bills and half to acquire shares of BP, according to UPI. Of course, we’re having a little bit of fun here, as the artist owns just under 1,500 BP shares.
In other words, Koselleck is a very small fish in a very large pond. BP has over 1 million shareholders, according to its website, and the company had almost 19 billion shares outstanding at the end of the first quarter.
So Koselleck has his work cut out him. Even if he could command Matisse-esque price tags, such as the $33.6 million that the “L’Odalisque, Harmonie Bleue” Bloomberg said sold for in 2007, he’d still have to sell a lot of paintings to become a legitimate acquirer of BP. But it is the thought that counts.
Maybe Koselleck should give Steven Cohen a call.
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