BPCL and Air India selloffs gain pace as Covid second wave subsides
Contrary to fears that the selloffs of BPCL and Air India will be delayed till the next fiscal, the Centre now expects to complete the exercise in this fiscal as the second wave of the coronavirus subsides.
The financial bids will now be called in September against apprehensions the bids can only be called in the fourth quarter, officials said.
They said the Union cabinet would soon consider tweaking the foreign direct investment policy to allow 100 per cent ownership of a state-owned refinery by global players through the automatic route.
The draft share purchase agreement is expected to be finalised by late July-early August and the financial bids called around September.
The BPCL divestment that involves the sale of the government’s entire 52.98 per cent stake in the PSU, was cleared by the Union cabinet in November 2019. But there has been limited progress because the Covid outbreak has dimmed global oil majors’ interest in the stake sale.
Only three bidders responded to the call for expressions of interest (EOIs) for BPCL and these include two private equity players and the Vedanta group.
Both the bidders of Air India and BPCL given virtual data room access and the government replying to their queries, officials expect the due diligence to get over in the next three months. They said the bidders are likely to begin site visits soon.
“After the bidders are comfortable and complete their due diligence, putting financial bids will not take much time,” the officials said.
The Tata group and SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh are the final two bidders for Air India. Both submitted expressions of interest (EoI) to the government in December 2020 and are expected to submit financial bids.
Meanwhile, Air India has announced the sale of its properties located across India.