BPCL privatization gets multiple bids, no conglomerate participation

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On Monday, the government received numerous bids for buyout stakes in India’s second-biggest fuel retailers BPCL. However, Reliance Industries, Saudi Aramco, BP, and Total did not make a bid.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), tweeted that the transaction advisers for the sale of the government’s 52.98 percent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) have reported receiving “multiple expressions of interest.”

Additionally, he said, “the transaction will move to the second stage after scrutiny by transaction adviser.”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also tweeted “Strategic disinvestment of BPCL progresses: Now moves to the second stage after multiple expression of interest have been received.”

Reliance Industries, which was considered a potential bidder as BPCL would have added a 22 percent fuel market share to its fledgeling retail business and made it the nation’s number one oil refiner. However, the company did not put any expression of interest (EoI) at the close of the deadline on Monday.”

An eligible source said transaction advisors will now evaluate the bidder to ascertain if they indeed meet the qualifying criteria and would have the financial muscle to do the acquisition. The process will take 2-3 weeks, after that, a request for proposal will be issued and the financial bid will be sorted.

BPCL is planning to give the buyer ownership to 15.33 percent of India’s oil refining capacity and 22 percent of the fuel marketing share.