ONGC likely to offer funds to OVL for Imperial buyout

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (UNI) Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is likely to lend money to its overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) for acquiring UK-based Imperial Energy Corporation.

''We will lend the money OVL needs for Imperial...Last year, we lent at six per cent interest and for this also, the rates will be the same,'' company Director (Finance) D K Sarraf told reporters here on the sidelines of the company's 15th Annual General Meeting yesterday.

He said the company is also considering raising one billion dollars in loans.

''We can raise up to one billion dollars through bridge loans, both local and overseas, depending on the interest rates,'' company CMD R S Sharma said.

However, he ruled out any possibility of splitting the shares in view of the fact that its prices are going up despite US financial crisis adversely impacting global markets.

The OVL-Imperial deal is contingent upon Kremlin's approval as the UK-listed firm has assets in Tomsk region of the western Siberia.

A committee headed by Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, which screens foreign investments in strategic sectors, is to decide on the acquisition.

UNI SBA MP HT1350

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