Fortune Oil, Liu Ming Hui Raise Stake in China Gas to 17.71%
07/03/2012| 06:13am US/Eastern
By Yvonne Lee
HONG KONG--Fortune Oil PLC (>> Fortune Oil plc), a U.K.-listed company, and its associate Liu Ming Hui increased their stake in China Gas Holdings Ltd. (0384.HK) to 17.71%, according to a disclosure to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission on Tuesday.
Fortune Oil, which is controlled by businessman Daniel Chiu, and China Gas founder Mr. Liu bought more than 1.92 million shares of China Gas on Friday at between HK$3.84 and HK$3.86 each, the statement said.
China Gas's major shareholders--Fortune Oil, Mr. Liu, Beijing Enterprises Group Co., South Korean energy company SK Group and its gas subsidiary--have all been increasing their stakes in the company since ENN Energy Holdings Ltd. (2688.HK) and state-owned giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, launched a $2.15 billion, HK$3.50 a share takeover attempt for the company in December.
China Gas' stock is now hovering around HK$3.87 and ENN's shareholders are due to vote on the proposed bid Friday.
China Gas, which controls gas pipelines that serve more than 6 million customers in China, has said in previous statements that Sinopec and ENN's offer failed "to reflect its fundamental value."
Gaining a controlling stake in China Gas, which has a market capitalization of HK$16.96 billion (US$2.2 billion), wouldn't come cheap. But the heightened competition for the company highlights the industry's view that China Gas, which has exclusive rights to operate pipelines in 151 cities across China, is a prize worth chasing.
Last week, Beijing Enterprises Group, which owns a natural-gas distributor in China's capital, raised its stake in China Gas, to 17.959% from 14.94%.
Write to Yvonne Lee at email@example.com