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Sinopec spends $7.5b on China's largest overseas takeover
Updated: 2009-08-19 09:53

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) announced Tuesday it has bought Geneva-based Addax Petroleum Corp through its wholly-owned Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SIPC).

SIPC's bid for Addax is C$52.8 ($46) per share, totaling more than C$8.32 billion ($7.56 billion), the largest by cost overseas takeover transaction yet made by a Chinese oil company.

After acquisition of all the common shares of Addax, Sinopec will also take over all convertible bonds and equity options held by Addax, after which Addax will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinopec, said an inner person with Sinopec Group.

In a statement, Sinopec said it would maintain the corporate management and all employees of Addax, and only send a few managers and technicians from Sinopec.

"The goal is to make Addax a real international oil and gas exploration and development company in Sinopec group," said the company.

The structure of Addax's oil and gas assets are rational and of good quality, the company's remaining recoverable reserves and production scale are large, and of good potential for more oil and gas reserves and output, according to Sinopec.

The acquisition of Addax, whose oil and gas reserves are similar to a middle-sized oil field in China, will accelerate Sinopec's international growth strategy and optimize its offshore oil and gas asset portfolio, said Zhang Kuikuan, general manager of Beijing Jcache Energy Information Services.

With its oil and gas assets concentrating in Nigeria, Gabon and Iraq, Addax has 25 oil and gas blocks. Its remaining recoverable proved and probable reserves are 537 million barrels and the average crude oil output is 143,000 barrels per day. The annual oil output is expected to be increased from 7 million tons to 10 million tons.

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The acquisition is just a commercial deal between sellers and buyers, and it will be an important step for Sinopec's strategy to become an international oil and gas company, said Xing Houyuan, an expert with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

After the acquisition of Addax, Sinopec will find a new position in the world top 500 and among its international counterparts, she said.

According to Xing, the next challenge for Sinopec is the international management of capital, personnel, material and risk control.

Sinopec's efforts to take over Addax began in February. The agreement for Sinopec to offer to acquire all the 157.6 million outstanding common shares of Addax for C$52.80 per share in cash was signed on June 24. The deal won permission from the Chinese government on Aug 6.

The Geneva-based Addax Petroleum, listed in London and Toronto, is one of the largest independent oil producers in West Africa and the Middle East. Total earnings of the company are $3.76 billion in 2008 with its net profit reaching $784 million.

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