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Scotland's Cairn Energy buys Nautical Petroleum

LONDON (AP) -- Scottish oil and gas exploration company Cairn Energy says it is buying London-based Nautical Petroleum for roughly 414 million pounds ($644 million).

Cairn Energy PLC said in a statement Wednesday that the acquisition would expand the company's holdings in northwest Europe, including a series of oil fields in the North Sea. The sale values Nautical at more than 1 ½ times its closing share price.

Shares in Cairn slid about 1.3 percent to 288 pence on the London Stock Exchange following the announcement.

Cairn used to focus on the Indian subcontinent but has recently turned its attention to the icy seas around Greenland, where its drilling has been fiercely opposed by environmental group Greenpeace.