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August 27, 2021

Global oil giants may enter fray to buy stake in India’s BPCL

Last year, Apollo Global, I Squared Capital and Vedanta Group submitted initial bids to buy Indian government's stake in BPCL.

By Archana Rani

Major oil firms from the Middle East and Russia are reportedly interested in joining the race for buying a stake in India’s Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL).

Citing undisclosed sources, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that Russia’s Rosneft would join one of the bids submitted earlier by US investment funds Apollo Global and I Squared Capital for BPCL.

In addition to the two US funds, Vedanta Group, founded by billionaire Anil Agarwal, also submitted a bid to buy the Indian Government’s entire 53.3% stake in BPCL.

The announcement to divest stake in BPCL, which holds over 14% of India’s oil refining capacity and 23% of the fuel distribution market, was first announced in November 2019.

The deadline for submitting initial bids expired in November 2020.

Citing a document detailing steps to complete the BPCL privatisation plan, PTI reported that the inception report is due to be submitted by Transaction Advisor and Asset.

According to the document, the potential bidder’s ‘security clearance’ may be required as consortiums are planned to be formed for the transaction.

Following the submission asset valuation report and business valuation report by Asset Valuer and Transaction Advisor respectively, the financial bids for the refiner are planned to be called.

Subsequently, the reserve price would be fixed followed by the opening of price bids.

Earlier this month, Indian Department of Investment and Public Asset Management Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said that the Indian Government plans to complete the BPCL privatisation this fiscal year, which ends on 31 March 2022.

In April 2021, BPCL acquired a 36.62% stake in Bina refinery situated at Bina in Madhya Pradesh, from OQ (formerly known as Oman Oil Company), for $327.1m.

In another development in the Indian energy space, Swan Energy is reportedly planning to commission the five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Jafrabad in western Gujarat state in April 2022.

Swan Energy director Sugavanam was reported by Reuters as saying that the facility’s breakwater is planned to be completed by March 2022.

The terminal is expected to boost the country’s LNG import capacity by 12% to 47.5mtpa.

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