Global biggies line-up to bid for BPCL

Sources close to ET NOW say that global energy majors are lining up for picking up a 51 per cent stake in PSU oil refiner BPCL. Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, Russia’s Rosneft, Exxon Mobil, Adnoc (Abu Dhabi National Oil Co) are preparing to participate in the bid. The government of India had recently extended the date for bids for the BPCL stake to July 31.

Advisors working on this transaction say that most bids likely to come around Rs 1.2 lakh crore mark versus the current market capitalisation of Rs 80,000 crore. Among Indian oil majors Vedanta, who had earlier shown interest unlikely to participate in this round as they are busy in the delisting of the company and they do not find the valuations very compelling. But Reliance Industries (RIL) which has recently forged a fuel retailing JV with British Petroleum is keen to participate. Vedanta spokesperson says: we don’t comment on speculation whereas RIL spokesperson did not offer any comment. BPCL says we are unaware of this development.

Global oil biggies are keen to participate in the Indian fuel retailing market as this is one of the few big markets globally which is still growing at healthy single digits. Additionally, the Middle East-based state-backed oil majors like Adnoc and Aramco have a very serious Asia downstream strategy which they can exploit via taking part in Indian opportunity via BPCL.

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