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Bidding War Brewing Over Unocal

As Unocal directors consider whether to recommend CNOOC’s $18.5 billion bid to its shareholders, some analysts said they expect rival Chevron to come back to the table with a higher offer.


One analyst even said a third party global major Royal Dutch/Shell could jump in to bid for Unocal. CNOOC has begun campaigning for its bid in New York, urging Unocal’s directors to accept its offer. Chevron says its offer carries higher certainty of being approved by U.S. regulators, who are skittish over political concerns.


But Chevron does not necessarily need to match CNOOC’s offer, because a Chevron-Unocal tie-up would have the advantage of not becoming bogged down in regulatory issues. If Chevron sweetens its bid, CNOOC may follow suit because Unocal is the only firm with massive oil and gas assets in Asia that is up for grabs.


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