Daily Archives: July 14, 2011

John Gapper

The move by ConocoPhillips of the US to split its upstream and downstream operations and become a “super-independent” oil company focussed on exploration feels like one of those turning points beloved by investment bankers.

Industry mergers and demergers tend to progress on a supercycle, in which investment bankers first persuade companies to merge in order to achieve scale and then later tell them they need to demerge to gain focus.