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BPCL disinvestment process moves forward

Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020
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The long-awaited privatisation process for Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is finally moving to its second stage with at least three to four companies submitting expressions of interest (EoIs).

The Central government had to extend the deadlines for submission of EoIs four times before setting the final deadline on 16 November 2020.

The sale is crucial for the government in order to meet its disinvestment target of Rs 2.1 trillion for FY21. The government has not revealed the number of bidders.

The transaction advisor will now evaluate the EoIs after which companies will be shortlisted for submission of final bid price.

The Union Cabinet had approved the sale of the government’s entire 52.98 percent stake in BPCL in November 2019. Offers seeking EoIs were invited only on 7 March 2020.

Based on the current market cap of Rs 89,525.06 crore, the value of 52.98 percent stake in the company is expected to be around Rs 47,430 crore. For investors, around 35.3 million tonne of refining capacity, 16,492 retail outlets, and 72 million LPG customers will be on offer.

The government's plan is to sell its entire shareholding in BPCL comprising 1.15 billion equity shares, with the transfer of management control to a strategic buyer, excluding the company's 61.65 percent in the Numaligarh Refinery in Assam.

The stake in Numaligarh refinery is expected to be sold to another public sector undertaking. A consortium of Oil India and Engineers India has shown interest in taking up BPCL’s 48 percent stake in Numaligarh.

The remaining stake will be sold to the government of Assam, to increase the state's share to 26 percent in the venture.

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