Saturday, October 1, 2022

IOC ex-boss joins Reliance Industries ahead of BPCL sale

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New Delhi: In the backdrop of the oil marketing industry eagerly waiting for the government to invite Expression of Interest (EoI) for BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) sale, former Indian Oil Chairman Sarthak Behuria has joined Reliance Industries as a senior advisor, the company said on Wednesday. “Behuria will provide strategic direction and leadership to the new joint venture between RIL and British energy major BP, focused on the fuel-retail business and also work closely with the Reliance Leadership team on various matters of strategic importance,” Reliance Industries said.

Behuria’s entry into RIL assumes significance ahead of BPCL sale

Behuria served as the Chairman of Indian Oil between 2005 and 2010. He had started his career with Burmah Shell in 1973, which was nationalised in 1976 and renamed as BPCL. At BPCL, Behuria served as Director (Marketing) in November 1998 and also held the post of Chairman & Managing Director in July 2002. His new appointment comes as the government is set to release the EoI doc for BPCL anytime now. Behuria’s experience will come in handy for Reliance Industries in putting in a bid for BPCL. After superannuating as the chairman of Indian Oil, Behuria was associated with two private sector organisations as executive director — Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone between April 2016 – 2019 and group president, KK Modi Group of Companies, from 2010 to March 2016.

The backdrop

The news comes as the government is looking to offload its 53.29 percent stake in BPCL. The decision had received an in-principle nod from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in November 2019. The deal was earlier slated to be closed before the end of financial year 2019-20. However, it got spilled on to the next financial year. For FY2020-21, the government is looking to raise Rs 1.20 lakh crore from disinvestment and a big chunk of this will come from the BPCL deal.

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