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Race for Tide Water hots up

Jun 11, 1999

The ongoing tussle for control of lubricants major Tide Water Oil company has turned into a three way race as Burmah Castrol (the 51% parent of Castrol India) and Caltex (subsidiary of Chevron, US and Texaco, US) put in their bids to match that of Gulf Oil. Tide Water is the owner of the popular lubricant brand - 'Veedol'. Gulf Oil is already believed to have had negotiations with Tide Water's stakeholders, Andrew Yule and Four Star Lubricants, who together control 49% of the company. The Veedol buyout would increase Gulf Oil's share in the domestic lubricants market.

Castrol, meanwhile is preparing to piggy back on its 1991 petition filed in the Calcutta High Court wherein it had pleaded that the Veedol brand should not be sold as Castrol owns the brand in many parts of the world. The court has still not decided the issue.

Caltex on the other hand is using its group influence to pre-empt Gulf Oil's bid. Its parent Texaco Inc, US owns 100% of Four Star Lubricants.

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