Oil India, EIL-led consortium to buy 48% stake in NRL

An Oil India Ltd and Engineers India Ltd-led consortium will buy 48% stake in the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s subsidiary, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL).

State-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) holds 61.65% stake in NRL, while Oil India holds 26% and the government of Assam owns 12.35%.

The consortium may have to shell out over 5,500 crore to buy the stake.

As part of its strategy to divest stake in BPCL, the government last November decided to carve out NRL from BPCL. Oil India’s board however is yet to decide on how much the company would be investing in NRL.

“Principal decision has been taken by the government, that Oil India Ltd and Engineers India Ltd. consortium will be acquiring 48% of the BPCL stake,” Harish Madhav, Director Finance, Oil India told analysts post the company’s annual results.

“So both processes will happen simultaneously almost,” he said,

The government has invited initial bids to sell its entire 52.98% stake in BPCL. The refiner has a market capitalisation of around 85,316 crore and the government stake would be valued around 45,200 crore. The successful bidder for BPCL will also have to make an open offer to other shareholders for acquiring another 26% stake.

Many marquee investors and companies including Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, Kuwait Petroleum, Total SA and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.are said to have expressed interest in participating in BPCL’s divestment.

Privatisation of BPCL is key to meeting government’s 2.1 lakh crore target that it has set for itself from disinvestment proceeds in the budget for 2020-21.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on 28 June had said that there is no going back on the decision to privatise the country’s largest oil marketing company BPCL in view of the slump in global energy prices.

“My colleague Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and DIPAM is looking into that (timing of the sale). They will take an appropriate decision looking at the market scenario. But the primary decision of disinvestment of BPCL stands,” he said.

NRL was set up at Numaligarh in Assam’s Golaghat district, in accordance with provisions of the Assam Accord signed on 15 August 1985, and has been associated with the industrial and the economic development of the region.

The capacity of NRL is being expanded from the present 3 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) to 9 MMTPA at an investment of 22,594 crore.

The expansion project is targeted to be completed in four years and expected to meet the refining requirements of the North-East region.

NRL in a bid to diversify has entered the upstream business of exploration and production and is in the process of acquiring a 20% stake in Namrup Block from Oil India.

This article was first published in livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.