Foul play allegations as OVL loses PetroKazakhstan

Vol 9, PW 10 (25 Aug 05) News in Brief

ONGC Videsh is alleging breach of tender terms in the decision by Canadian-owned PetroKazakhstan to approve a $4.18bn takeover bid by China National Petroleum Corporation.

A source tells us the Canadian company told ONGC on (Friday) 19th August that its bid (reported to be $3.98bn) was higher than the Chinese bid (reported to be $3.6bn) and asked for two minor clarifications by (Monday) 22nd August. But ONGC believes that on Saturday (20th August) the Canadians revealed details of its bid to the Chinese, we learn.

And on Sunday (21st August) the Chinese increased their bid. When ONGC arrived on Monday (22nd August) morning with answers to the two clarifications, PetroKazakhstan announced that it was too late and that CNPC had increased its bid the day before.

PetroKazakhstan later issued a statement asking shareholders to accept the $4.18bn bid from CNPC. Its unclear if OVL will counter bid.