May 5, 2009 / 3:01 PM / 10 years ago

Verenex says Libya mum on plans to top CNPC offer

CALGARY, Alberta, May 5 (Reuters) - Verenex Energy Inc VNX.TO said on Tuesday it has not received any notice from Libyan officials about their plans to trump a takeover bid made by China National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL] for the small Canadian oil firm.

The head of Libya’s National Oil Co has repeatedly stated plans to exercise its rights to match a C$499 million ($427 million), or C$10 per share, bid for Verenex made by CNPC’s international arm made in February. [ID:nLQ630159]

However Verenex, which operates in part of Libya’s Ghadames Basin, where it has made several oil discoveries, said in a release that Libya has not presented an offer.

“The Chairman of the NOC has publicly stated that the NOC intends to exercise a pre-emptive right and purchase all the shares of Verenex at C$10 per share,” the company said in a statement included in its first-quarter earnings release. “Such intent has not as yet been formally communicated to Verenex and CNPC.”

Verenex said it is still trying to get Libya to approve its sale to CNPC.

The company said it lost C$2.6 million in the first quarter after posting a C$2.1 million profit in the year-prior period.

Verenex shares were unchanged at C$9.20 on Tuesday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.18 Canadian Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson

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