Reliance Industries Ltd will not bid for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), which has been put up for privatisation by the government, according to an RIL official.
“We are not interested in BPCL at all,” the executive told BusinessLine on conditions of anonymity.
Reliance narrowly missed reporting a first quarter loss last week, thanks mainly to an exceptional gain from the sale of stake in domestic fuel retailing joint venture with BP plc, and strong performance by Jio Platforms Ltd, the digital services arm.
Mukesh Ambani’s increasing focus on digital and retail businesses has led Reliance to separate its oil-to-chemicals business into a new subsidiary. But the plan to sell a 20 per cent stake in this unit to Saudi Aramco — the world’s largest oil producer — has failed to materialise so far, potentially the fallout of the recent oil market meltdown, casting doubts over the finalisation of the deal. It also raises doubts over Aramco’s interest in BPCL.
The government has sought initial bids — or expression of interest (EoI) — to privatise BPCL by selling its 52.98 per cent stake to a strategic buyer. The deadline for submission of bids has been extended twice.