BP Plc (BP: 27.72, 0.67, 2.48%) has approached four major banks in an effort to raise money either through a private placement of debt and lines of credit, looking to raise as much as $10 billion sometime this week to help pay tens of billions of dollars in liabilities stemming from its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, FOX Business Network has learned.
It is unclear if the four firms said to be involved in the potential funding — Goldman Sachs (GS: 133.96, -2.64, -1.93%), Citigroup (C: 3.74, -0.25, -6.27%), JPMorgan (JPM: 37.06, -1.48, -3.84%) and Bank of America (BAC: 14.57, -0.67, -4.4%) — have agreed to raise money for the beleaguered oil company, or if they have sufficient investor demand for a private placement of debt. That option is attractive because BP would have to disclose far less information to investors about the massive liabilities it could face. The company has already agreed to pay $20 billion into a cleanup fund administered by the Obama administration, but private estimates of the total costs facing the company are much higher, leading several analysts to speculate that BP might seek bankruptcy protection.
A BP spokesman declined to comment on the new efforts to raise cash
but a person close to the company said BP has raised close to $15 billion through a combination of asset sales and bank lines as of last week, and expects to raise at least $5 billion by the end of this week. Press officials at the four banks would neither confirm nor deny their involvement in the money-raising effort.