InvestorQ : Why has the government put off the BPCL divestment plan?
Riya Dwivedi made post

Why has the government put off the BPCL divestment plan?

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shrinidhi Rajan answered.
2 months ago
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Let me put it this way. The current expression of interest (EOI) for the BPCL sale has been withdrawn. That does not mean that the plan to sell BPCL is put off. It only means that the Government wants to do a complete rethink of the process and the valuations before the divestment. Vedanta and Apollo PE Fund had evinced interest in buying the government stake in BPCL, but the government was expecting a more robust response.

In addition, the stock of BPCL is currently quoting at a 52-week low and that means it may not make sense for the government as it would not get a good pricing for its divestment. The government of India currently owns 52.98% stake in BPCL and it wants to sell the entire stake in the company. The DIPAM secretary, Tuhin Kanta Pandey confirmed that the government would choose to wait for some time.

The bidding for BPCL had a chequered history. It was first planned in 2020 and at that time, the likes of Aramco and Rosneft were expected to bid. However, both backed out in 2020 amidst the oil glut during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The government has also been facing a lot of worker unrest over the privatization and many of the creditors have also been unhappy that the government guarantee of their debts may not exist any longer.

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