NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Report may be preparing a bid for oil-and-gas explorer Anadarko (APC) - Get Report, according to a report in London's Daily Mail newspaper Thursday.

The paper cited no sources, saying only that "speculation now suggests" that BHP may offer $90 a share for Anadarko. That represents a 27% premium to Anadarko's closing price Wednesday of $70.73.

The deal rumors sent Anadarko stock jumping in pre-market trades Thursday. It recently changed hands at $75.10, up 6%.

BHP is cash-rich and deal-hungry. This fall, BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers failed spectacularly for the second time in three years to

close a mega-takeover

(see

Potash Corp.

(POT)

).

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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