* China's Sinochem offers 750 pence per share in cash
* Offer price 34 pct above closing price on July 10
* Offer backed by board, 37.6 pct of shareholders
LONDON, Aug 12 China's state-run Sinochem Corp
has agreed to buy British oil and gas explorer Emerald Energy
Plc EMEN.L for about 532.1 million pounds ($878.2 million) in
cash, the companies said on Wednesday.
The offer price of 750 pence per share is almost 34 percent
higher than the closing price of 560.50 pence on July 10, the
last trading day before an announcement by Emerald that it had
received an approach. The shares closed on Tuesday at 675 pence.
"Emerald's Syrian and Colombian assets have attractive
growth potential and, by bringing Emerald into the Sinochem
group, will reinforce our position in the Middle East and South
America," said Han Gensheng, president of Sinochem.
"The acquisition strengthens our operations and represents another step in our strategy of building a global energy company."
Emerald's board of directors have unanimously recommended
the offer and Sinochem has pledges from holders of 37.56 percent
of Emerald's shares to vote in favour.
In July, Emerald said it had received a takeover approach,
continuing a wave of consolidation in the sector, lifting the
company's shares on hopes of an offer at around 750 pence a
(Reporting by Julie Crust; editing by Paul Hoskins)