ONGC gets cabinet go-ahead for Imperial acquisition bid

December 9th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghMumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Tuesday got the government’s nod for its $2.6-billion bid for Russia-focused explorer Imperial Energy, a senior government official said.”The company has finally got the cabinet approval and it will be announced tommorrow (Wednesday),” the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“Still some decisions about the offer to shareholders are being discussed. Once it is finalised, the company will do the announcement,” he added.

The decision was taken by a cabinet panel meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The UK-based Imperial holds some key oil and gas assets in Russia.

An ONGC official, when contacted, refused to either confirm or reject the development, and said: “Poeple will know in due course of time.”

ONGC struck the deal with Imperial in August when the oil prices were hovering around $120 a barrel. The company had to seek the government’s approval to go ahead with the project as the oil prices fell to below $45.

Talking about the status of the deal, ONGC chairman R.S. Sharma said Nov 25: “The deadline to close the Imperial deal is 2009, but we are well on track to complete it ahead of schedule.”

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