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PSUs in fresh bidding for BPCL

In the current round, state-owned firms like IOC and ONGC were barred from putting in their bids
Sources said the government is mulling at different options in the absence of any bids from Reliance Industries as well as from global giants such as Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, BP or Total. 

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 19.11.20, 04:11 AM

The government is exploring various options in the BPCL stake sale exercise if no financial bids are received or if these are lower than the price that the government expects. Such a situation has arisen in the wake of energy giants staying clear of the BPCL bidding.

Metals and minerals major Vedanta on Wednesday confirmed it has bid for the entire government stake of 52.98 per cent in BPCL. Others believed to have put in bids include two to three private equity funds and pension funds.

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“Vedanta's EoI for BPCL is to evaluate potential synergies with our existing oil and gas business. The EoI is at a preliminary stage and exploratory in nature,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. 

Sources said the government is mulling at different options in the absence of any bids from Reliance Industries as well as from global giants such as Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, BP or Total. 

The sources said a contingency measure, or a Plan B, is a possibility if the bidders after access to the data room do not bid or if  they quote much lower that the government estimates.

Among the options being considered is to call for a fresh bidding for BPCL and the biggest change could be to allow the state-owned firms like IOC and ONGC to bid. In the current round, they were barred from putting in their bids.

If the state-run oil firms are allowed, it could be repeat of the HPCL sale to ONGC. The exploration firm had bought the government’s entire 51.11 per cent stake in oil refiner HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore in 2018.

“For strategic disinvestment of BPCL, multiple expressions of interest have been received by the Transaction Adviser. The Transaction will move to the second stage after scrutiny by TA,” the government had said. 



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