BPCL: Attracting global oil giants

Shares of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) rose 7% to Rs 421 on the BSE on Friday. The stock has surged 14% in the past two trading days, on reports that global oil giants are showing interest in the state-owned oil marketing company.

The counter has seen more-than-doubled trading volumes with a combined around 16 million equity shares changing hands on the BSE and NSE. Two other state-owned oil market companies – Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) – were trading higher by 6% and 2%.
Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, Exxon Mobil, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) and one Indian private player will be participating in the bidding process for BPCL. The stake sale to a major private entity will unlock value for minority shareholders.
The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest (EoIs) has been postponed twice and the current deadline ends on July 31.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) in March had released the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) for inviting EoI for the strategic disinvestment of BPCL, along with transfer of management control.

The Government of India has proposed strategic disinvestment of its entire shareholding in BPCL comprising of 1,149 million equity shares, which constitutes 52.98% of BPCL’s equity share capital along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer (except BPCL’s equity shareholding of 61.65% in Numaligarh Refinery). NRL would be transferred to an Oil & Gas CPSE separately.

The government has barred PSUs from bidding for BPCL and expects private sector Indian players and global MNCs to bid for its stake.

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