Unsurprisingly to those following the politics behind Portugal’s oil and gas game of misinformation and duplicity, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has ended its alleged negotiation with China’s CEFC which, claimed the foundation, wanted to purchase its oil company, Partex.
Partex remits 100% of its profits each year to the Gulbenkian Foundation, unsurprisingly as the foundation owns 100% of Partex.
This is the problem as the Gulbenkian Foundation does notable good works in supporting the arts and education yet its funding derives from the highly unpopular and slowly dying oil industry.
The foundation has tried to ally itself with more modern activities with the frequent use of the words ‘eco’ ‘blue economy’ and ‘sustainable’ but the funding still comes from the oil industry in which the foundation’s founder made his millions.
The announcement earlier this year that Partex was for sale to the Chinese, was treated by media with politely raised eyebrows but, the foundation explained, it had sufficient funds on deposit to continue its programmes so would not miss the oil profits from Partex.
Today’s announcement that “there are no conditions to continue negotiations,” was not surprising as the choice of suitor was marred by allegations of corruption in high places within CEFC and the company had insufficient funds to pay around €450 million for Partex.
In early March, the CEFC founder and president, Ye Jianming, was "under investigation" by the Chinese authorities. This was shortly after the Gulbenkian Foundation announced it has received a offer from CEFC for Partex, which it claimed it was already thinking of selling as it aimed to pursue a "cleaner new energy matrix" in line with the "international movement followed by other foundations."
Today’s press release from the Gulbenkian Foundation, reads "As a result of the recent news coming to the public about the situation of the Chinese group and the inability of this company to clarify them thoroughly with the Foundation, it was concluded that there are no conditions to continue the talks."
The foundation says still wants to sell Partex, “taking into account the best interests of the Foundation and the company."
In the meantime, the Partex profits will continue to flow into the Gulbenkian Foundation’s coffers and it will continue to fund green, eco and blue initiatives while struggling to change opinions as to where its real interests lie.