ONGC told it can rebid for PetroKazhakstan

By agencies   |   Friday, 26 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is well within its rights to improve its bid for takeover of PetroKazakhstan, but the state-owned oil major seems to be rethinking on whether it should do so.

After it was outbid by China's CNPC, the oil PSU got the entire deal examined by financial and legal consultants, who opined that the Canadian law which applies on PetroKazakhstan permits ONGC to make a rebid.

The consultants were of the view that ONGC could improve its bid after PetroKazakhstan makes a filing about CNPC's takeover offer in a local court.

But sources noted that ONGC was mulling whether it was worth making a rebid, considering the fact that CNPC too had the right to match its offer.

Also, there was a feeling that the $4.18 billion that China National Petroleum Corp has offered for taking over PetroKazakhstan was on the higher side.

ONGC, which bid for the Central Asian oil firm jointly with steel giant Mittal Group, had offered $3.9-4 billion for the takeover.

But the ONGC-Mittal combine, however, can make a rebid 15 days prior to the PetroKazakhstan shareholders meeting, where the CNPC takeover offer would be placed for approval.

The shareholder meeting is slated to be held in October.

Industry sources also noted that the bid paper circulated by PetroKazakhstan's financial advisor Goldman Sachs stated that any shortlisted bidders can revise/improve on the previous offer.

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