Bloomberg News

Cnooc Says Bridas Still Needs Approvals for Pan American Deal

October 25, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Cnooc Ltd., co-owner of Bridas Corp., said the Argentine crude producer is yet to obtain regulatory approvals for the $7.1 billion acquisition of BP Plc’s 60 percent stake in Pan American Energy LLC.

The deal can be terminated by either party if the approvals aren’t received by Nov. 1, unless both sides agree to an extension, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday. BP continues to work with Bridas to obtain the approvals, and expects the deal to be completed in 2012, the London-based company said in a separate statement.

As of Oct. 24, “Argentine antitrust and Chinese regulatory approvals required to satisfy conditions precedent to complete the sale had not been received,” BP said.

Bridas agreed in November to buy the stake from BP it doesn’t already own. The deal, which was due to complete by June 30, was put on hold until after Argentina’s presidential elections, Yang Hua, chief executive officer of China’s biggest offshore energy producer, said on Aug. 24.

BP will have to repay Bridas the deposit of $3.53 billion received at the end of 2010 should the deal be terminated, Cnooc said in yesterday’s statement. BP said it will also be required to pay Bridas an additional $700 million for amendments to the agreement.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 58, won 54 percent of votes as of Oct. 24, and with her coalition’s alliances, majority control of Congress.

--Editors: Amit Prakash, Ryan Woo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Woo in Singapore at rwoo5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.


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