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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Indian oil cos won't bid for Gulfsands Petroleum

State-run Oil India and refiner Indian Oil Corp on Thursday denied reports that they were still considering an offer for Syrian-focussed oil explorer Gulfsands Petroleum. News organisations on Wednesday reported comments from Oil India's Chairman N. M. Borah saying the companies' were still interested in Gulfsands.

"It is not a closed chapter. A number of possibilities can come up ... Gulfsands is very much on our radar," Borah told reporters. Oil India and Indian Oil Corp withdrew a 315 pence per share approach, which had valued Gulfsands at 381 million pounds ($548 million), in May after their request to conduct due diligence was turned down by Gulfsands which dismissed the offer as "wholly inadequate".

The companies had been asked by Britain's takeover watchdog to submit a bid by May 11 or walk away for a minimum of six months. However, they agreed they can return with an offer within the six month period if a rival bid materialises. Shares in Gulfsands were down 0.4 percent to 256 pence at 0722 GMT, valuing the business at 295 million pounds.

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