The Asian Development Bank plans to sell its 5.2-per cent stake in Petronet LNG , which the state-owned gas utility GAIL India is keen to acquire and may have to pay over Rs 600 crore for it.
ADB has offered to sell its 39 million shares or 5.2-per cent stake in Petronet, which is valued at over Rs614 crore at today's trading price of Rs157.85 per share on the BSE, sources privy to the development said.
GAIL, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum hold a 12.5-per cent stake each, to restrict the public sector holding in the company at 50 per cent. Gaz de France (GdF) holds another 10 per cent and under the Share Holders' Agreement (SHA), the five have the first right of refusal over ADB stake.
GAIL has informed oil secretary G C Chaturvedi, who is the chairman of Petronet, that it plans to buy the ADB's entire 5.2-per cent stake and in case of other companies evincing interest, the ADB stake could be split equally among GAIL, IOC, ONGC and BPCL with each buying 1.3 per cent stake.
According to sources, acquisition of ADB stake by state firms would result in Petronet turning into a public sector company with shareholding of state firms rising above current 50 per cent. According to the sources, GAIL was agreeable to this as it would bring more accountability in running Petronet.
ADB's first exit proposal had come in 2008 but then company CEO Prosad Dasgupta was in favour of a third party like Chevron or steel baron Lakshmi Mittal's group buying the stake instead of the four promoters.