Shares in Gulf Keystone were up nearly 8% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange, following a Sunday Times newspaper report that it looking to sell itself for up to 1.4 billion pounds ($2.3 billion).
The company issued the following statement on Monday morning, saying that press estimates significantly undervalued the company:
Gulf Keystone notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential sale of the Company.
Whilst the Board does not normally comment on speculation, the Company confirms that it remains committed to creating value for shareholders, via the continuing 2011/2012 drilling programme on its world-class assets in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Whilst there is clearly increasing interest in the region in which Gulf Keystone operates, the Board is not in discussions with regard to a sale of the Company.
Todd Kozel, Executive Chairman and CEO, commented:
"The Board of Gulf Keystone is confident that it has built an enviable asset base in Kurdistan, with significant further upside potential. We are therefore committed to continuing to successfully prove the potential of our oilfields in Kurdistan. We consider the true value of the Company to be significantly above any figures quoted in recent press articles."