India loses PetroKazakhstan bid to China

By agencies   |   Monday, 22 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: China has outbid India to acquire PetroKazakhstan Inc, a Canadian oil company operating in Central Asia. China National Petroleum Corp beat the Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Group combine, with a winning bid of $4.18 billion.

In a press statement, PetroKazakhstan said CNPC would pay $55 a share in cash.

PetroKazakhstan accounts for about 12 percent of oil production in Kazakhstan and is the third largest oil producer in that country. The company's production averaged 151,102 barrels of oil a day in 2004.

State-owned KzaMunaiGas is the largest oil producer in Kazakhstan, followed by Chevron.

Calgary-based PetroKazakhstan's board recommended that its shareholders accept the Chinese oil company's offer. The transaction is expected to close in October.

PetroKazakhstan was the first company India's flagship ONGC had bid for jointly with the world's largest steel producer Mittal Group.

A Kazakh official said ONGC-Mittal had placed a bid of some $3.6 billion for the oil firm.

"CNCP had bid lower than ONGC-Mittal combine in the first instance but was given an opportunity to better the bid," he said, but could not say why only CNPC was given an opportunity to rebid.

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