India's ONGC, GAIL may offer $2 bln for Cove-report
MUMBAI Feb 28 (Reuters) - The overseas investment arm of Indian oil producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp and gas distribution company GAIL India Ltd plan to offer $2 billion to acquire UK-based Cove Energy Plc, the Times of India reported on Tuesday.
The planned offer by the two state-run Indian companies will beat a $1.76 billion bid by Thai state-controlled oil and gas group PTT and Royal Dutch Shell Plc's offer worth $1.6 billion earlier this month.
ONGC Videsh Ltd and GAIL could make their combined bid this week, the newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
They may value London-listed Cove at 245 pence-a-share, it said. PTT said on Friday it planned a 220 pence-per-share bid, trumping Shell's offer for Mozambique-focused Cove.
Cove's main asset is an 8.5 percent stake in the Rovuma Offshore Area 1, in Mozambique, where another operator Anadarko said recoverable reserves could top 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Indian firms Bharat Petroleum Corp and Videocon Industries Ltd own 10 percent stake each in the Rovuma block.
Officials at ONGC and GAIL could not be immediately reached by Reuters.
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