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Group to bid for HPCL

New Delhi, Feb. 15 (PTI): Reliance Industries Ltd said today it will bid for acquiring government’s 34 per cent stake in state-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL).

“We will bid (for HPCL),” RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said.

RIL is seen as the front runner along with Royal Dutch Shell, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Petronas of Malaysia, for taking over the country’s second largest oil PSU.

If successful, HPCL’s 13 million tonne refining capacity and over 4500 retail outlets would add to RIL’s 27 million tonne Jamnagar refinery and the proposed 5849 petrol stations.

The government is bringing down its stake in HPCL from the current 51.02 per cent to 12 per cent by divesting 34 per cent to a strategic partner and another five per cent to the employees.

Ambani did not see any deterrent in the indefinite strike notice served by HPCL employees against its privatisation.

“I don’t see any problem. Ultimately, it all depends on the attitude of strategic partner. Our acquisition of Indian Petrochemical Corporation Ltd (IPCL) is an example,” he said while disagreeing with the suggestion that the strike threat by HPCL staff union would deter bidders.

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