State-owned Indian Oil Corp and Oil India Ltd have confirmed making an ‘approach’ to take over the Middle-East focused oil firm Gulfsands Petroleum Plc for an undisclosed cash amount.
“OIL and IOC confirm that they have jointly made an approach regarding a possible all cash offer for Gulfsands,” the two firms said in a joint statement to the London Stock Exchange.
Sources said the OIL-IOC combine had not made a formal bid but had approached a major shareholder in Gulfsands Petroleum offering around 315 pence (Rs 215) per share to buy its 22 per cent stake.
“There can be no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming,” the companies said in the statement. The statement comes within days of the UK-based firm rejecting their around £400-million (Rs 2,737 crore) takeover offer.
Gulfsands had last week stated that it rejected an unsolicited offer by a company it did not identify, for being too low.
“The board is unanimously of the view that the proposal is wholly inadequate and materially undervalues the company,” Gulfsands had stated in a statement.
Sources said the state-owned petroleum giants have not closed chapter on Gulfsands and are considering revising the offer upwards.
Gulfsands had, however, stated that it was not currently involved in any process to solicit offers and is confident of its strategy to become a prominent exploration and production company in the Middle East and continue demonstrating tangible growth.