Hurricane Hydrocarbons tries to block Kazakh bid

Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd., Calgary, has approved a $200 million (US) payment in the form of dividends in a bid to block a takeover bid by shareholders in Kazakhstan, where the company has its main crude production.


By an OGJ Online Correspondent

CALGARY, May 16 -- Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd., Calgary, has approved a $200 million (US) payment in the form of dividends in a bid to block a takeover bid by shareholders in Kazakhstan, where the company has its main crude production.

The dividend payment would amount to about $4/share (Can.).

Hurricane Pres. and CEO Bernard Isautier said Hurricane plans to double its production in Kazakhstan to 180,000 b/d by 2003.

Central Asian Industrial Holdings NV (CAIH) began a $189 million hostile bid in April to gain 53% ownership of Hurricane (OGJ Online, Apr. 12, 2001). The shareholder group now holds 30%.

CAIH is a holding company, based in the Netherlands Antilles, that is owned by a Kazakh banking group.

Isautier told the company's annual meeting in Toronto that an independent evaluation should be available in mid-June to give shareholders an idea of the company's worth. Hurricane's board said CAIH's offer of $10.25/share (Can.) was too low.

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