The Indian government has extended for the third time the deadline to submit bids for 52.98% of its stake in the country’s second-largest oil refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL), to September 30, due to Covid-19. The original deadline of June 13 was extended to July 31.
The deal excludes BPCL’s 61.65% stake in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. The government’s stake in BPCL is valued at around INR50,000 crores (USD6.7 billion).
The Union Cabinet had cleared the proposal for strategic sale of the government’s stake in BPCL on 20 November 2019, along with the transfer of management control to a strategic buyer after taking out the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. in Assam from the company’s portfolio.
“In view of the further requests received from the Interested Bidders (IBs) and the prevailing situation arising out of Covid-19, last date and time (“EOI Due Date”) for submission of EoIs is extended up to 30th September, 2020,” the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) announced on its website.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP has been appointed as the transaction advisor for the stake sale.
Interested parties must have a minimum net worth of USD10 billion.
BPCL, currently operates four refineries in India – Mumbai Refinery, Kochi Refinery, BORL-Bina Refinery (Bharat Oman Refineries Limited, a joint venture between Bharat Petroleum and Oman Oil Company), and the Numaligarh Refinery – with a combined crude oil refining capacity of 38.3 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA). It has a market share of 21%.
After being established in the 1920s as Burmah Shell, an alliance between Royal Dutch Shell and Burmah Oil Co and Asiatic Petroleum (India), BPCL was nationalized in 1976 by an Act of Parliament.