Eni Holding makes open offer HOEC shares

Friday, 25 April 2008, 05:18 Hrs
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Ahmedabad: Eni Holding UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of energy major Eni, has made an open offer to buy up to 20 percent shares of Vadodara-based Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC) at a price of 144.20 per share.

The decision has been communicated to the Bombay Stock Exchange Thursday. There was no immediate comment from HOEC.

Eni is an integrated energy company, committed to developing its activities in research, production, transport, transformation and marketing of oil and natural gas.

However, according to information posted at the Eni website, the company said the offer has been made since it last year acquired Burren Energy, which in turn had 27.17% interest in HOEC. This meant that Eni Holding has indirectly purchased a stake in HOEC by virtue of Burren Energy's holding in the Indian company. Burren Energy was the holding company of Burren Shakti Ltd and Burren Energy India Ltd.

The company said the offer is necessary under Indian takeover rules that obligated Eni Holding to buy not less than 20 percent of HOEC's outstanding shares at or above a specified minimum price from the public.

The aggregate consideration payable under the offer works out to 3,765.8 million or 59 million Euros. N.M. Rothschild & Sons India Pvt Ltd has been appointed as the manager to the offer.

Under the offer that opens June 11 and closes June 30, Eni Holding will acquire up to 26,115,455 fully paid up shares of HOEC.

HOEC was the first private company in India to enter oil and gas exploration. HOEC's operational activities commenced in 1991 when the central government announced the fourth round of exploration bidding for the private sector.

Burren Energy, a London-based exploration and production company, having core producing assets in Turkmenistan, Congo and Egypt had in 2005 acquired 27.17 percent controlling stake in HOEC from Unocal Oil Company of California.

As on March 31, 2008, the promoter group in HOEC had 51.1 percent controlling stake, followed by Indian financial institutions (19 percent) and foreign institutional investors 13.23 (percent). Shareholding by the public is 6.95 percent. If Eni Holding offer goes through, it will become the second largest shareholder in HOEC.
Source: IANS
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