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OVL may partner Russian company to counter Sinopec

OVL may partner Russian company to counter Sinopec
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First Published: Fri, Aug 22 2008. 02 40 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Aug 22 2008. 02 40 PM IST
PTI
New Delhi: ONGC Videsh may take a Russian partner to counter Chinese firm Sinopec in the battle for acquisition of UK-listed Imperial Energy, whose promoters may choose a winner in the next few days.
Though OVL has made a solo bid of about $2.5 billion for takeover of Russia-focused Imperial Energy, the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) may rope in a company like Rosneft to win Moscow’s approval for the acquisition, London-based investment banking sources said.
OVL is mindful that no company can be successful in taking over a company having assets in Russia unless it has the backing of Moscow, and bringing state-run Rosneft on board with a possible 51% stake was being contemplated.
In the event of OVL being the successful bidder, it may farm-out majority stake to Rosneft and keep just 49% for itself, sources said.
While ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma refused to comment, OVL Managing Director R S Butola did not take calls.
Meanwhile, Government sources here confirmed OVL making a bid and exuded confidence that Russia would back the Indian firm over China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec), which made a rival bid earlier this month.
Imperial, a relatively small British oil and gas company based in Leeds in UK, has oil producing blocks in Tomsk region of western Siberia in Russia and Kastanai in north-central Kazakhstan.
Government sources said promoters of Imperial were likely to decide on the sale within a few days.
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First Published: Fri, Aug 22 2008. 02 40 PM IST