Lord Browne, who is leaving BP this Summer after a string of mishaps, drew up secret plans for a £220bn merger with Shell to create by far the world’s largest oil company.
The merger was discussed informally and papers were produced by BP into the viability of the merger. Lord Browne would have stayed on as chief executive, possibly with a Shell director as chairman.
One source close to the events is quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “Browne tried to buy time by saying that he had one big deal left in him. The big deal was the plan to merge BP with Shell.”
But the plan was never put to Shell nor formally to BP’s board. And instead of pulling of one of the biggest deals in history, Browne enters the history books with a rather blemished record.