Imperial purchase on schedule, says ONGC

December 10th, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) The state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will complete the buyout of UK’s Imperial Energy as per the schedule, its chairman R.S. Sharma said here Wednesday.The cabinet, at a special committee meeting Tuesday, allowed ONGC to go ahead with the acquisition of Imperial Energy at the original offer price of 1,250 pence a share.

“We wanted to optimise the deal and look for avenues to revise the bid price but the legal framework (in the UK) prohibited us,” Sharma told reporters here on the sidelines of a business meet.

“We will complete the deal in January 2009. We have posted the offer document yesterday(Tuesday night). That milestone is over. I am confident that we will get better returns on our investment,” he added.

This will be ONGC’s largest overseas acquisition so far.

On commenting about the global situation and falling crude oil prices, Sharma said the decision to buy Imperial Energy was taken “very cautiously and short-term market fluctuations shouldn’t impact business decisions”.

He also said there was no change in the company’s plans to raise a bridge loan of $1 billion to fund the purchase.

ONGC, the producer of almost 25 percent of the crude used by Asia’s third-largest energy consumer, plans to import the equivalent of 60 million tonnes of oil, or a little less than twice India’s output, by 2025.

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