MANILA - Udenna Corp's acquisition of Chevron Malampaya, which holds a 45-percent interest in the Malampaya gas project, was not a "midnight deal," the Department of Energy said Monday.
Cusi made the remark after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said the DOE "bent rules" to approve the acquisition of Chevron Malampaya by Dennis Uy's Udenna.
Udenna had bought Chevron's shares in November 2019 subject to regulatory approval.
The deal was a private transaction and the DOE was "not privy" to its terms and price, said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
The agency "went beyond" in checking both firms' books as it was "not duty-bound" to do so, he added.
"Hindi nga po midnight deal 'yun eh. We’re evaluating 2 books, the book of Chevron Malampaya, the previous owner, nung pumasok po ang new owner that book remained the same. What we're looking naman dito is the book of the new shareholders," he told ANC's Headstart.
(It's not a midnight deal. We’re evaluating 2 books, the book of Chevron Malampaya, the previous owner, when the new owner came in, that book remained the same. We're also looking at the book of the new shareholders.)
"How they came to the conclusion selling it, it’s beyond our purview. Tiningnan namin ang libro po ng Chevron, ng new owner and they pumped in that additional money. In effect, ang Chevron Malampaya po mas tumatag as member of the consortium."
(We looked at the books of Chevron and the new owner, which pumped in additional money. In effect, it made Chevron Malampaya a stronger member of the consortium.)
The committee will also look into the Royal Dutch Shell's sale of its stake in the Malampaya natural gas field to Udenna, Gatchalian earlier said.
The transaction brings Udenna's total shares in Malampaya to 90 percent.
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