On the eve of US oil company Unocal's board meeting, China's CNOOC did not raise its US$18.5bn bid for Unocal – but left open the possibility it would do so. It did, however, sugggest a breakup fee if CNOOC were to renege on the deal, and has opted for the creation of a US$2bn escrow account for Unocal, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources close to the deal. The 70% state-owned Chinese oil company could still increase the offer, paying up to US$70 a share. CNOOC's current bid of US$67 a share in cash is considerably higher than the US$60.64 a share cash-and- stock offer of US rival Chevron. However, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 73% of the American public dislikes the CNOOC bid.
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