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Centre to sell 100 percent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corpn

Monday, 09 Mar 2020
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The Central government on 7 March 2020 invited bids for a majority stake in the Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL). Private companies with a net worth of over USD 100 billion (Rs 74,000 crore) will be eligible to bid by 2 May 2020.

Based on the current market capitalisation of Rs 87,388 crore, the government stake of 52.98 percent in BPCL is valued at around Rs 46,300 crore. This sale is key to meeting the government’s disinvestment target of Rs 2.1 trillion in FY21. So far, the disinvestment exercise has fetched the government Rs 34,845 crore during FY20.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has stated that none of the public sector undertakings (PSUs) will be allowed to participate in the proposed stake sale. BPCL employees, however, can bid. They will be given the option to match the highest offer if their bid is within the 10 percent band. The selected bidder will have to make an open offer to public shareholders for acquiring another 26 percent.

The strategic disinvestment includes sale of the government’s entire stake in BPCL comprising 1.14 billion equity shares and 52.98 percent of BPCL’s equity share capital. The divestment will also mean transfer of management control. BPCL’s equity of 61.65 percent in Numaligarh Refinery will be sold separately to a state-run oil and gas company, the bidding for which will be conducted in two stages.

For the BPCL sale, bids will be allowed from consortium of maximum four players, with the lead member having at least 40 percent holding in the partnership. Each member in a consortium must also have a minimum net worth of USD one billion.

The transaction adviser for the deal is Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India. The investor will get access to diversified business areas of the company, including refinery, retail, lubricants, aviation, gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

BPCL has 15,184 fuel retail outlets and 58 authorised testing facilities (ATF) stations across the country. The company has investments in upstream sector too with participating interests in 25 blocks. While 13 of these are located in India, another 12 are overseas.

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