London: India’s two largest companies - state-run ONGC and billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) - are being rumoured as the “mystery” bidders for UK-based Addax Petroleum, which could be sold for £5 billion, a media report said here.
While China’s state-run Sinopec and Korean National Oil Company are already believed to be in talks with Addax, “the company has been approached by a third mystery bidder, possibly a national oil company from India,” the Telegraph reported.
“...some traders noted gossip that an Indian group may be involved in the auction. State-backed ONGC, which last year bought Imperial Energy for £1.4 billion, and Reliance were touted as potential Indian suitors,” the report added.
London-based Addax Petroleum has fields in Iraqi Kurdistan and Nigeria and is said to be on the block for up to £5 billion (around $8.26 billion).
A formal offer for the company could be announced early next week, the Telegraph said, adding that “there was also chatter that Jean Claude Gandur, the billionaire chief executive of Addax, and his bankers, led by Tim Chapman of RBC, are keen to get a deal done quickly”.
Addax, which has one of only two operational fields in Kurdistan, has seen interest from would-be buyers increase with the completion of an oil-export pipeline from the region.