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UK government says will oppose any takeover of BP

[BENGALURU] The British government has told BP Plc that it wants the company to remain a British industrial champion and it would oppose any takeover of the oil producer, the Financial Times reported.

British officials have said the government would be"sceptical" about any takeover - even if it involves Royal Dutch Shell Plc - because it wants the country to have two big global oil companies, FT reported.

Officials acknowledge the government has few formal powers to block a bid, but a senior City figure briefed on government thinking said making its opposition so clear may deter any foreign bidder deter from offering a bid, FT reported.

Representatives at BP and 10 Downing Street were not immediately available for comment.

BP, which may pay US$13.7 billion in fines for its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has maintained that it is under no pressure to make acquisitions after the recent takeover of BG Group Plc by Shell.

Last week, Chief Executive Bob Dudley told CNBC that BP had not been approached by any company.