ALL options are open for Indian state energy firms to make a counter-bid to Vedanta Resources’ $9.6bn (£6.2bn) offer for control of Cairn India, an oil ministry source said.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Gail and Oil India are thought to be considering a joint bid for Cairn India, a unit of the UK’s Cairn Energy.
ONGC, Gail and Oil India have held informal talks on a joint bid for Cairn India even as the ministry is looking at legal options to deny Vedanta approval for its planned deal. The oil ministry is said to be uncomfortable with billionaire Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta Group buying a majority stake in Cairn India.
The oil ministry has not given any direction to state firms to make a counter bid for Cairn India, the oil ministry source said.
A banking source familiar with the matter said that ONGC, Oil India and Gail – all state-controlled ??– were considering a joint bid for Cairn India. The companies had not yet mandated any banks for a deal, the source said.
ONGC, Oil India and Gail declined to comment.
Cairn Energy will publish its interim results today.