BP chief denies Shell rumours

Tony Hayward, BP’s new chief executive, has poured scorn on the idea of a merger with rival Royal Dutch Shell, saying the two companies had not been discussing a deal, and it would in any case do nothing to resolve the problems BP faced. Speaking as BP unveiled what he described as “disappointing” profits for the 2007 first half, he said there was “absolutely no substance to any speculation” of a merger plan. Rumours of a tie-up between BP and Shell have resurfaced recently, after a deal, which would then have amounted to a takeover by BP, was considered by Lord Browne, Mr Hayward’s predecessor, in 2005.

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