Indian state-owned Oil India (OIL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) may get a ''put up or shut up'' notice from the UK regulator for Gulfsands Petroleum, even as the oil majors are considering raising their $570-million unsolicited bid in the coming week.
The board of Gulfsands, which is being advised by Royal Bank of Canada, is understood to have asked the UK Takeover Panel to issue a deadline to the two Indian companies to either put forth a formal offer, or walk away from the acquisition for at least six months. The order is likely to come next week, according to reports.
Public sector oil marketing companies OIL and IOC had jointly made an $570 million unsolicited acquisition offer on 18 March 2010 for the London-based and AIM-listed independent oil and gas explorer Gulfsands.
But the board of Syria-focused Gulfsands rejected the bid as it felt the offer was too low and was highly conditional and subject to due diligence and other material pre-conditions. (See: Gulfsands rejects IOC-OIL combine's $570 million bid)
The Indian oil majors had offered 315 pence a share and unconfirmed reports suggested that Gulfsands was seeking at least 400 pence a share although it closed at 330 pence at Wednesday closing.
After the bid was announced on 18 March, shares of Gulfsands soared by 19.5 per cent to 310 pence in that week, giving the Middle East focused company a market capitalisation of $573.2 million.