China wins in its bid for Emerald

SINOCHEM has agreed a &pound;532.1m deal to take over London-listed oil and gas explorer Emerald, in the latest deal by a state-owned Chinese company eager to secure interests in natural resources overseas.<br /><br />The deal will give Sinochem, which focuses on energy, agriculture, chemicals, finance and real estate, access to Emerald&rsquo;s operations in Syria and Colombia.<br /><br />Sinochem has made around $1bn (&pound;608m) of overseas energy acquisitions to date.<br /><br />The deal will see Emerald&rsquo;s biggest shareholder, oil financier Michael Kroupeev receive a massive payout, after his Waterford Finance &amp; Investment backed a &pound;6.8m rescue rights issue by Emerald in 2003.<br /><br />&ldquo;Emerald&rsquo;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,&rdquo; Han Gensheng, a president of Sinochem, said.<br /><br />Sinochem is offering 750p a share, 34 per cent higher than the closing price on the last trading day before Emerald said it received an approach.