Tuesday, October 4, 2022

BPCL disinvestment: SBI Capital, Deloitte competing to be advisor

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New Delhi: SBI Capital and Deloitte are competing with each other for the role of advisor for state-run BPCL which the government has shortlisted for disinvestment, a notification from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said on Wednesday. The financial bids for BPCL are set to open at 4.15 pm on Wednesday. The government is looking to engage and advisor for the disinvestment of its 53.29 percent stake in BPCL to a strategic buyer and BPCL’s 61.65 percent stake in Numaligarh refinery (NRL) to another oil and gas PSU.

3 law firms in the fray for BPCL disinvestment

The notifications released by DIPAM also showed that three law firms — Shardul Amarchand, Luthra & Luthra and J Sagar Associates are competing with each other for the role of the legal advisor. And two other firms — Protocol Insurance Surveyors and RBSA Advisors — are vying to get the job of asset valuer.

The role of the advisor

“The advisor will undertake tasks relating to all aspects of the proposed strategic disinvestment culminating into the successful completion of the transaction during the current financial i.e. 2019-20 and accordingly draw a detailed realistic timeline for completing various activities involved in the transaction. In case of slippage in the timeline, the government may change the appointed Advisor,” DIPAM said in a notification.

The backdrop

The government is looking to disinvest BPCL in order to meet its target of Rs 1.05 lakh crores in financial year 2019-20. It has so far managed to raise around Rs 17,364 crores through disinvestment. The sale of the Centre’s 53.29 percent stake in BPCL is expected to fetch around Rs 70,000 crores. However, experts have pointed out that it would be difficult for the government to wrap up the sale of its entire stake in BPCL by March 2020 because of the state-run refiner’s widespread assets.

The plan is also being met with stiff opposition from employee unions in BPCL and other PSUs that are slated to be divested — SCI and CONCOR. On November 28, PSU employees across India would be on a strike to oppose the government’s disinvestment plan.

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