BPCL says no intention to sell stake in Petronet, IGL

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI): Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Thursday said it has no intention to sell a part of its stake in Petronet LNG Ltd and Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) to help its new owner avoid making an open offer for the two gas companies.
BPCL holds 12.5 per cent of the shareholding in India’s largest liquefied natural gas importer, Petronet, and a 22.5 per cent stake in city gas retailer, IGL. It is a promoter of both the listed companies and holds board positions. As per the legal position evaluated by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) – the department running the process for the sale of the government’s entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL – the acquirer of BPCL will have to make open offers to the minority shareholders of Petronet and IGL for the acquisition of 26 per cent shares.
To bailout the new owner of BPCL spending additional Rs 19,000 crore in open offers for firms where it will have no operation control, it was suggested that BPCL sell a part of its shareholding in the two firms and shed promoter status.
“We have no intention to pare down our stake in IGL or Petronet. Any paring down will be value destruction,” BPCL Director (Finance) N Vijayagopal said at an earnings call with investors.
He said as per SEBI regulations, there will be a need for the new promoter of BPCL to make an open offer for IGL and Petronet.
BPCL and the government are working with SEBI to see “how the requirement of the open offer is avoided,” he said without giving details. “We are working with the government of India to see that the value of BPCL is protected,” he said.
Questions by investors at the call came in response to the PTI report of May 25, on the stake sale move and that BPCL was not in favour of it as it would result in substantial value erosion for the company.
Asked if the requirement of an open offer for IGL and Petronet can be an impediment in privatisation of BPCL, he said, “We have no intention to sell down. The other question is hypothetical.”
Since BPCL is a promoter of the two companies and because there is a change in ownership of the promoter firm, an open offer is triggered under SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011.
The thinking in the government is that the open offers for Petronet and IGL may deter bidders who are mostly eyeing BPCL’s oil refining assets and 22 per cent share of the fuel marketing business it commands, sources said.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button