New Delhi: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has not taken any decision so far on the sale of its stake in Petronet LNG and Indraprastha Gas, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) VRK Gupta said during an investor call on Friday. Gupta said that SEBI has not yet responded to an application made for exempting the new owner of BPCL from making an open offer to the minority shareholders of Petronet LNG and Indraprastha Gas. BPCL holds 12.5 percent stake in Petronet LNG and 22.5 percent in city gas retailer Indraprastha Gas. It is also a promoter of both the companies and hold board positions.
"There is no decision taken as on date but we are working with the Government of India to protect the interests of BPCL," Gupta said at the investor call. "No decision on this aspect as on date." BPCL has previously said that it does not want to pare its stake in either of the two companies as it sees it as a value destruction proposition. Gupta told investors that the government is working with SEBI to see that the requirement of the open offer is avoided.
According to the legal position examined by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the new owner of BPCL will have to make an open offer to the minority shareholders of Petronet LNG and Indraprastha Gas for the acquisition of 26 percent stake. In order to bail out the new owner of BPCL from making open offers, BPCL is spending an additional Rs 19,000 crore in open offers for companies where it has no operational control. The DIPAM, according to sources, is of the view that the necessity to make open offers for Petronet and Indraprastha Gas may serve as a deterrence for bidders who are interested in acquiring BPCL's oil refining assets and 22 percent share in the fuel retail market.
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