ONGC signs agreement to acquire Imperial Energy

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (UNI) Country's biggest oil producer, ONGC today said it has signed a 2.6 billion dollar deal to buy the UK-based Imperial Energy in a bid to secure supplies for its booming economy.

ONGC's overseas arm, ONGC Videsh, would pay 1,250 pence in cash to Imperial Energy Corp Plc for each of its shares in a deal worth 1.4 billion pounds (2.6 billion dollars), it said in a statement.

ONGC Videsh already has a presence in Russia through its 20 per cent stake in the Exxon Mobil-led Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project.

Imperial shares have risen sharply in recent weeks as investors hoped a bid battle would develop after the company said earlier this month it had received a second approach from an unnamed party.

Sources close to the matter identified this party as Sinopec , and said the Chinese state-controlled company had gained access to Imperial's books but failed to table a bid.

News reports and market rumours cited by traders also said bids could come from Korean and Kazakh companies.

The deal can double state-owned ONGC's proved and probable reserves.

This is less than the 1,290 pence approach Imperial said last month it was discussing with an unnamed bidder, which sources close to the matter identified as ONGC.

Russian reserves sell at a relatively low price compared to other regions such as the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico due to high taxation and political uncertainty in Russia.


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