Delek US Holdings Inc. shares climbed the most in seven years after a report that CVR Energy Inc. may be preparing a takeover offer for the refiner.
Shares jumped as much as 15 percent, the most intraday since March 2009, to $17.13. They were up 8.5 percent to $16.15 at 12:47 p.m. in New York. It was the biggest gainer in the BI North America Refining & Marketing index, which was up 2.5 percent. CVR Energy climbed as much as 6.5 percent.
On Thursday, the New York Post reported CVR Energy is preparing to make an offer for Delek, citing an unidentified source close to the matter. The report also noted speculation that activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a controlling stake in CVR Energy, is building a personal stake in Delek or could be preparing to take full ownership of CVR Energy.
If the reports are true, the deal is positive for Delek shareholders but its "relatively young" management may not be willing sellers, Brad Heffern, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note. Given that both companies have been heavily affected by the downturn, Icahn may be thinking that taking both companies private is the "best move," he said.
Angie Dasbach, a spokeswoman for CVR Energy, said the company doesn’t comment on market speculation. Delek didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Icahn wasn’t immediately available to commnent.
Delek owns 48 percent of Alon USA Energy Inc. and has previously stated a desire to do a full takeover of the company. Management has said it would evaluate a bid for Alon versus options such as buying back the company’s own stock.