Investor Wibur Ross eyes JV in China shale tender

Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:02pm EDT
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By Randy Fabi

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Billionaire U.S. investor Wilbur Ross is in talks with Chinese companies to form a joint venture to participate in a long-awaited shale gas auction in China late next month.

China, believed to hold the world's largest reserve of shale gas, is offering 20 blocks in eight provinces with a total area of 20,002 square km. More than 100 Chinese companies, from utility firms to real estate developers, have shown interest.

Ross, one of the world's best-known distressed-asset investors, travelled to Beijing this week to discuss the possibility of a joint venture between Chinese firms and some of his investments in the United States.

"Part of what I was in China about was talking about the possibility of joint ventures of some of our investments in the West and some of the Chinese companies," Wilbur Ross, CEO of investment group WL Ross & Co, told Reuters at a conference in Singapore.

"I think we will have a joint venture partner. Bids are due (late) October and we hope to be organized by then."

He declined to name the companies he was talking to.


Beijing is allowing foreign-funded joint ventures controlled by Chinese investors to participate in the shale gas tender, a move experts say is aimed at luring international firms with technology and operational expertise.   Continued...

Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co., speaks during the Reuters Restructuring Summit in New York, October 7, 2010. REUTERS/Keith Bedford