A Chinese holding company primarily focused on real estate said it plans to purchase oil assets in the Permian Basin in Texas for approximately $1.31 billion.
In a four-pageletter of intent filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Friday, Yantai Xinchao Industry Co. Ltd. said it plans to acquire the Ningbo Dingliang Huitong Equity Investment Center for 8.3 billion yuan. The deal includes the purchase of oil assets in Texas's Borden and Howard counties from Tall City Exploration LLC and Plymouth Petroleum LLC.
Yantai -- whose business scope also includes construction and electronics manufacturing -- said the deal has the approval of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, part of the Treasury Department.
Additional details of the deal were not disclosed. Spokespersons for Tall City and Plymouth, as well as their parent companies -- Denham Capital Management LP and ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, respectively -- did not respond to messages seeking comment on Monday. According to Plymouth's website, that company is focused on oil and gas properties in the Permian Basin in west Texas and southeast New Mexico.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that bankers and other industry insiders are seeing a large number of Chinese firms express interest in energy assets in North America, even if their primary business is not oil and gas. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (R-TX) warned as much last July, stating that Chinese firms would invest in Mexico's portion of the Eagle Ford Shale and the Burgos Basin if the U.S. did not (see Shale Daily, July 7).