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By Kiel Porter and Rachel Adams-Heard on 5/2/2019

CHICAGO and HOUSTON (Bloomberg) — Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s bombshell investment from Warren Buffett is the culmination of almost two years of on-and-off-again wrangling with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. — a saga that’s, so far, seen the company slip through its fingers several times.

With Buffett in its corner and a higher bid on the table, Occidental finally seems to have the upper hand over Chevron Corp.’s lower, but already agreed on, offer. Anadarko’s board has decided to start talking to Occidental again, and said that its bid could result in a superior proposal.

Occidental’s engagement with Anadarko officially brings the two Texas-based explorers back to the negotiating table again after at least four separate rounds of communication since late 2017, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details of the discussions aren’t public. As recently as December, an informal check-in by Occidental had met with a negative response from its potential target: We’re not ready.

Just two months later, Chevron entered the fray and started talking to Anadarko, the people said. It was enough to pique Occidental’s interest, and by March 23 the company had made a $76-per-share offer — including $19 in cash, the people said. Representatives from Anadarko, Chevron and Occidental declined to comment on the talks. Read more…