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Is RIL ready to snap up Atlas?

Will Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) go ahead and make a better offer than Chevron Corp’s $3.6 billion (Rs 16,200 crore) offer for Atlas Energy Inc? All eyes are set on the February 16 meeting of the shareholders of Atlas Energy, which could give RIL a chance to make a superior offer for Atlas Energy.

business Updated: Feb 02, 2011 23:25 IST
HT Correspondent

Will Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) go ahead and make a better offer than Chevron Corp’s $3.6 billion (R16,200 crore) offer for Atlas Energy Inc? All eyes are set on the February 16 meeting of the shareholders of Atlas Energy, which could give RIL a chance to make a superior offer for Atlas Energy.

Reliance spent more than $3 billion last year on US natural gas projects and has already written to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on January 10 that it should have been given a chance to better Chevron’s offer for Atlas Energy Inc. In the letter, RIL mentioned itself as the “most natural and obvious” partner to buy the company that oil behemoth Chervon has agreed to purchase.

Reliance, which in April formed a $1.7 billion venture with Atlas to develop gas fields in Pennsylvania, said its letter to Atlas’s directors that it was surprised it was never apprised of the negotiations that led to the Chevron deal.

On its part, Atlas said in a response that the merger agreement with Chevron precluded Atlas from soliciting competing bids.

(With inputs from agencies)