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Imperial Energy says gets another bid approach

After  China state-owned Sinopec’s earlier bid, Russia-focused oil company Imperial Energy Corp has received another approach for a possible cash offer for the company, the group said on Monday. 

“There can be no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made for the company or as to the terms on which any such offer might be made,” the London-listed firm said in a statement.

Earlier British media said China Petroleum & Chemical, the Chinese state-owned company better known as Sinopec, had launched a bid for Imperial. Sinopec could not be immediately reached for comment. This move could top a cash offer made last month by an unnamed bidder, which industry sources said was India’s Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC). India has charged ONGC with securing overseas energy resources to power its booming economy. An Imperial spokesman in London declined to identify either bidder.

Imperial had said the first bid was at 1,290 pence a share, valuing the group at £1.3 billion. A deal with Sinopec would mark the Chinese state firm’s second major investment in resource-rich Russia.

Sinopec is developing the Sakhalin-3 oil and gas project on the Russian Pacific island by the same name along with state oil major Rosneft. Similarly, ONGC is a partner in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas consortium headed by US major Exxon. Imperial Energy told Reuters at the end of last year it could sign a strategic deal with a big Russian partner in 2008 to support the company’s ambitious growth plans. (Reuters)