Mining and oil exploration conglomerate Vedanta has put in a preliminary expression of interest (EoI) for buying the government’s 52.98 per cent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), India's second-biggest fuel retailer.
Vedanta Ltd and its London-based parent Vedanta Resources submitted the EoI through a special purpose vehicle before the close of 16 November deadline for submitting EoIs.
Vedanta says expression of interest for buying govt's nearly 53% stake in BPCL is exploratory in nature
“Vedanta’s EoI for BPCL is to evaluate potential synergies with our existing oil and gas business,” the company said in a statement. “The EoI is at a preliminary stage and exploratory in nature.”
The government on Monday said it received 'multiple' bids for buying out its stake in BPCL, but did not disclose the identity of the bidders.
BPCL stake sale, however, failed to attract major groups, including Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries as well as supermajors Saudi Aramco, BP and Total.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is handling the sale, tweeted that the transaction advisors for the sale of government's 52.98 per cent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) have reported receiving "multiple expressions of interest."
"The transaction will move to the second stage after scrutiny by TA," he said.
"Strategic disinvestment of BPCL progresses: Now moves to the second stage after multiple expressions of interest have been received," finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman also tweeted.
Vedanta is into oil and gas exploration business in India after its $8.67 billion acquisition of oil producer Cairn India’s oilfield assets in Rajasthan about a decade ago, and hence its interest in India's second largest fuel retailer.
The government is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in India’s second-largest fuel retailer as part of plans to raise a record Rs2,10,000 crore from disinvestment proceeds in 2020-21.
BPCL share price has plunged by close to a fourth since the strategic sale was approved in November last year. At Wednesday’s closing price of ?383.20 on the BSE, the government’s stake in BPCL is worth just over Rs44,000 crore.