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CNOOC: no plan to increase bid for Unocal

  BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhuanet) -- The spokesman for the China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) in Beijing said Thursday that so far CNOOC has no plan to increase its bid for U.S.-based Unocal. 

  According to Thursday's foreign media reports, the CNOOC is considering sweetening its bid for Unocal and a pledge to sell all of Unocal's American assets, including valuable drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico, to reduce opposition by U.S. lawmakers to its bid to buy the U.S. oil company.

  "So far, CNOOC's 67 US dollars per share all cash offer has not been changed and remains in effect," said the spokesman.

  "Considering the interests of CNOOC's shareholders, we will not easily change the bid," he said.

  "There are many guesses recently on whether CNOOC will sweeten its bid for Unocal. As for those guesses, the CNOOC won't make any remarks," he said.

  Unocal's board said late Tuesday it has accepted a revised offer from Chevron worth over 17 billion dollars in cash and stock, less than the all-cash bid of 18.5 billion dollars from CNOOC.

  In a brief statement, Unocal and Chevron jointly urged Unocal shareholders to accept the package at a vote scheduled for August 10.

  The board will not recommend the merger plan of CNOOC at the special meeting of shareholders.

  CNOOC Wednesday claimed that its all cash offer has not been changed and remains in effect.

  "We have fully negotiated a merger agreement and other transaction documents reflecting this proposal with Unocal which we believe to be acceptable to them," said the spokesman in an interview with Xinhua.

  "We regret that they have not yet embraced our offer. We will continue to follow the market development closely," he said.

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