ONGC's Imperial Bid Coming Soon

MUMBAI, India -- ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of India's biggest oil and gas explorer, will bid for Britain-based Imperial Energy within the next 28 days, after receiving approval from the Russian government.

The unit ONGC will inform the stock exchanges once the offer is made, ONGC Videsh spokesman Paddy Blewer said Tuesday. The transaction, valued at ?1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) in August, has cleared two sets of Russian regulatory hurdles this month.

"The Russian government has given its approval, and all preconditions have been met," Blewer said. "ONGC Videsh will now have to make an offer based on the same preconditions within the next 28 days. The terms of the offer will remain the same as those submitted to the authorities."

Imperial rose 13 percent to 1,126 pence in London, valuing the company at ?1.15 billion. The stock has fallen about 8 percent since the plan was first announced on Aug. 26.