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Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian to buy 35% of US oil company

Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian is to buy 35% of troubled US oil producer Delta Petroleum Corporation for $684 million, the company said Monday.

“The additional capital provides Delta the financial flexibility and wherewithal to grow the company to new levels,” Delta CEO Roger Parker said in a statement. Kerkorian’s Las Vegas-based investment corporation Tracinda is to buy 36 million shares of Delta at $19 per share, a 23% premium over the stock’s December 28 closing price of $15.51. Tracinda will also gain the right to nominate as much as a third of Delta’s board, according to the statement.

According to Forbes magazine, the 90-year old Kerkorian is the seventh-richest person in the US with an estimated net worth of $18 billion, made primarily through the US casino capital Las Vegas. (m&