ONGC board approves acquisition of ADB stake in Petronet

The board of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has approved the acquisition of Asian Development Bank's (ADB) stake in Petronet LNG Ltd. This follows similar approvals by GAIL, IOC and BPCL.

ADB had offered to sell its 5.2 per cent stake in Petronet, in which the four state-owned oil and gas companies hold 12.5 per cent stake each, newspaper reports quoted unnamed sources as saying.

ADB has already been informed by gas utility GAIL and refiners Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum of their intent to exercise their right of first purchase/refusal over ADB's stake.

The board of ONGC approved the share acquisition on 4 November according to the sources. The four state-owned firms would need government approval for acquisition of ADB's stake.

French energy giant, Gaz de France International (GDFI) also holds a 10 per cent stake in PLL with first right over ADB stake and in case it too decided to exercise its right, the foreign lender's 5.2 per cent stake would be split between the five in proportion to their current shareholding.

According to sources, GDFI would likely not exercise its rights and if it opted out, ADB's 5.2 per cent stake would undergo a four-way equal split between the four promoters.