IOC, GAIL may buy shares if open offer for Petronet, IGL gets triggered

State-owned IOC, GAIL and ONGC may buy shares of Petronet LNG and Indraprastha Gas in the eventuality of an open offer getting triggered post privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), sources said.

BPCL holds 12.5 per cent of the shareholding in India’s largest liquefied natural gas importer, Petronet, and a 22.5 per cent stake in city gas retailer, IGL. It is a promoter of both the listed companies and holds board positions.

As per the legal position evaluated by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) – the department running the process for the sale of the government’s entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL – the acquirer of BPCL will have to make open offers to the minority shareholders of Petronet and IGL for the acquisition of 26 per cent shares.

To avoid such a scenario, DIPAM on April 19 made a request to markets regulator Sebi for grant of exemption for an open offer in Petronet and IGL, three people aware of the matter said.

SEBI, however, conveyed that the application needs to be made in the prescribed format by BPCL as the promoter of IGL and Petronet, they said adding BPCL subsequently made such an application.

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