An inter-ministerial group (IMG) has approved sale bid documents for privatisation of India’s second biggest oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), and a notice seeking bids will be issued after a small group of ministers approves it, sources said.
The IMG comprising representatives from the ministries of finance, petroleum, law, corporate affairs and department of disinvestment has approved expression of interest (EoI) and preliminary information memorandum (PIM) for the company.
This will now be put up for approval by ‘Alternative Mechanism’ which is essentially a very small grouping of key Cabinet ministers, sources privy to the development said. Once the approval is granted, an EoI seeking interest from potential buyers will be floated, they said, adding the EoI along with PIM was likely to be out in the market within this month.
The government plans to sell its entire 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL that will give buyers ready access to 14 per cent of India’s oil refining capacity and about one-fifth of the fuel market share in the world’s fastest-growing energy market.
Sources said a two-stage bidding process will be followed wherein request for proposal or RFP in the first stage will be followed by due diligence-cum-bidding by qualified bidders in the second phase.
BPCL has a market capitalisation of about Rs 1.03 lakh crore and the government stake at current prices is worth about Rs 54,000 crore.