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'Indian firms can bid for Cairn India stake'

Reuters
Aug 24, 2010 at 11:25am IST

New Delhi: All options are open for Indian state energy firms to make a bid to counter London-based Vedanta Resources' proposed offer to buy a majority stake in Cairn India, an oil ministry source said.

The oil ministry made the statement after a media report said ONGC, GAIL and Oil India were considering a joint bid for Cairn India. The oil ministry has not given any direction to state firms to make a counter bid for Cairn India, said the source, who did not wish to be named.

ONGC, Oil India and GAIL declined to comment. On August 16, Vedanta Resources said it would spend up to $ 9.6 billion to buy a majority stake in Cairn India, the Indian unit of the UK's Cairn Energy.

Speculation is rife on whether ONGC, GAIL and Oil India are mulling a joint bid for Cairn India to counter Vedanta's offer to buy majority stake.

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