New Delhi: A consortium of state-run Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) will bid jointly for acquiring Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited's (BPCL) 61.65 percent stake in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) in the disinvestment process, separate statements released by both the companies said on Thursday. "Engineers India Ltd (EIL), in consortium with Oil India Ltd (OIL) (OIL being the leader), has decided to bid for acquiring 61.65 percent stake of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) in Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL)…," EIL said in an official statement.
EIL also said that it will take the minority stake, while OIL will be the majority shareholder. The bid is to be submitted through a formal process. "The exact percentage of the stake of OIL and EIL will depend on the extent of right of first offer (ROFO) to be exercised by the government of Assam which already holds 12.35 percent stake in NRL," said OIL in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges on Thursday.
While OIL said that the acquisition will allow it to improve the synergy in its portfolio, EIL said it would enable the company to diversify its business into downstream oil and gas operations.
Post disinvestment, the government of Assam, which currently holds 12.35 percent stake in NRL, will increase its shareholding to 26 percent. A minority stake will go to EIL, and a majority stake will be picked up by OIL, making NRL a subsidiary of Oil India. OIL currently holds 26 percent stake in NRL.
Numaligarh Refinery is also the largest customer of the crude oil produced from OIL's fields in the North-East.
The news comes days after BPCL Director (Finance) N Vijayagopal said on February 9 that the company is hopeful about completing the disinvestment of NRL before March-end. The disinvestment process is crucial to BPCL's privatisation, which has now entered the second stage of the process where financial bids will be submitted by bidders. BPCL privatisation is crucial to the government meeting its disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in FY2021-22.
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