NEW YORK—China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), the state-controlled Chinese oil company that has made an unsolicited $18.5 billion offer for U.S. oil company Unocal has retained the New York office of Brunswick Group for financial communications advice and the Washington, D.C., office of Public Strategies, Inc., for public affairs counsel.
The proposed acquisition has generated controversy, with two Republican congressmen writing to President Bush requesting that he review the deal for any national security implications. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman has indicated that the government will undertake a thorough review of what he called “a truly complex matter.”
CNOOC, meanwhile, has been striving to portray the bid—which came two months after Unocal agreed a deal under which it would be acquired by U.S. rival Chevron for approximately $16.4 billion.
CNOOC has a reputation for being closed and secretive. The Financial Times reported that when China’s state regulator Assets Supervision & Administration Commission asked the company’s foreign partners to rate it, their complaints included poor communications with external stakeholders. And chief executive Fu Chengyu has remained silent on his attentions since the FT revealed his interest in Unocal six months ago.