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China Gas Objects to ENN, Sinopec Delay in Completing Offer

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- China Gas Holdings Ltd. said it objects “in the strongest terms” to the delays by ENN Energy Holdings Ltd. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. in completing their joint takeover of the mainland city-gas supplier.

The delays are “extremely frustrating for China Gas, for our staff and for our shareholders,” President Eric Leung said in an e-mailed statement today.

Sinopec, as China Petroleum is known, and ENN offered to acquire China Gas for HK$3.50 (45 cents) a share in December, which the city-gas supplier rejected. The bidders yesterday extended the deadline for completing negotiations to May 15 from March 31, and ENN said it would dispatch a circular on the bid to its shareholders by April 30.

“This new timetable allows ENN and Sinopec five months to formalize an offer, and yet they still retain the right to extend this even further,” Leung said. “This is totally unreasonable. We object in the strongest terms to this extension.”

An external spokesman for the two bidders said in an e-mailed statement today that China Gas’s response is “surprising as we have been completely transparent that we are going through a standard regulatory approval process.”

“In parallel, we continue to seek principal to principal discussions on the proposed acquisition, which we believe will benefit the stakeholders of all parties involved,” the spokesman said.

China Gas has gained 36 percent in Hong Kong trading since the takeover was proposed in December. The shares rose 1.6 percent to close at HK$3.82 today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aibing Guo in Hong Kong at aguo10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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