BPCL exits Numaligarh Refinery ahead of privatisation

Numaligarh Refinery Limited
Numaligarh Refinery Limited

Taking forward the privatisation process of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), the state-run energy major has sold its entire 61.5 per cent in Numaligarh Refinery in Assam.

The privatisation-bound company has sold its stake to a consortium of Oil India Ltd. (OIL) and Engineers India and Government of Assam for nearly Rs 9,876 crore.

Oil India acquired over 39.84 crore shares or 54.16 per cent stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL). Post these acquisition OIL’s cumulative equity shareholding in NRL (including pre-acquisition 26 per cent shareholding) is 80.16 per cent.

Engineers India Limited (EIL), which is also a party to the deal, has independently acquired over 3.21 crore equity shares or 4.4 per cent of NRL from BPCL.

In regulatory filing, the BPCL said that the remaining 2.29 crore equity shares have been transferred to the Government of Assam on receipt of consideration of nearly Rs 500 crore. The shares transferred to the state government accounts for 3.2 per cent of BPCL’s stake adding to the Assam government’s existing shareholding of 12.35 per cent.

“A Sale Purchase Agreement has been signed on 25th March 2021 between BPCL and the consortium of Oil India Limited (OIL) and Engineers India Limited (EIL) for sale of 43,05,83,886 equity shares of Rs 10 each held by BPCL in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. to the consortium at a consideration of Rs 9375,96,41,177,” it said.

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The development comes after the board of BPCL earlier this month approved the proposal for sale of the company’s equity shares in the Numaligarh Refinery Limited to a consortium of Oil India Limited and Engineers India Limited, along with the government of Assam.

NRL has been carved out from the BPCL and is not part of the assets which are being sold as part of its privatisation plan.

NRL is the largest customer of OIL’s crude produced from its Northeast fields. The acquisition is expected to improve the synergy in OIL’s portfolio and it develops an integrated oil operation involving exploration, refining and marketing.

Post the sale of Numaligarh Refinery Limited, the BPCL has three refineries at Mumbai, Kochi and Bina (Madhya Pradesh).

The profit-making state-run company is up for sale as the government is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in the company, which may turn out to be the largest privatisation in India.

Vedanta Group and private equity firms Apollo Global and I Squared Capital’s Indian unit Think Gas have shown interest in buying the government’s stake.

The strategic sale of the company which was impacted amid the pandemic is expected to complete in the next financial year.

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