Government Allows Online Bid Submission For BPCL Buyout
BPCL signage is displayed at a gas station in Mumbai. (Photographer: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg)

Government Allows Online Bid Submission For BPCL Buyout

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The government on Friday allowed submission of preliminary bids for acquisition of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. electronically through e-mail in view of the restrictions placed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The IPs (interested parties), if they so desire, may submit the complete expression of interest in electronic form via e-mail with all the requisite documents in pdf format by the EoI (expression of interest) due date," the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management said in a notice on its website.

In September, the government had extended the deadline for bidding for privatisation of India's second-biggest oil refiner BPCL by one-and-a-half month to Nov. 16.

In November last year, while the Cabinet had approved the sale of the government's entire 52.98% stake in BPCL, offers seeking EoI or bids showing interest in buying its stake were invited only on March 7.

Initially, the EoI submission deadline was May 2 but it was first extended up to June 13, then to July 31 and later to Sept. 30.

Last month, DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said there will be no more extension of bid deadline of BPCL.

The government is keen to close the sale before March 31, 2021, to help meet a record Rs 2.1 lakh crore target which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has set from disinvestment proceeds in the Budget for 2020-21.

Also read: BPCL Q2 Results: Profit Up 8%, Revenue Rises 29% As Demand For Fuel Improves

The Government of India is proposing strategic disinvestment of its entire shareholding in BPCL comprising 114.91 crore equity shares, according to the notice inviting offer.

It constitutes 52.98% of BPCL's equity share capital along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer (except BPCL's equity shareholding of 61.65% in Numaligarh Refinery), the notice added

Numaligarh refinery stake will be sold to a state-owned oil and gas firm.

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