NEW DELHI: State-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has discontinued all activities associated with the disinvestment of the company after the government dropped plans to privatise the firm for now.
In a stock exchange filing, the company said the government has through a letter dated June 3, 2022, called off the present tender to sell its entire 53 per cent stake in the company. “Accordingly, all the activities in connection with the disinvestment including the data room are being discontinued,” the firm said. The move by the central government to call off the expression of interest (EoI) followed two out of the three bidders walking out. BPCL had in April last year opened a virtual data room, mostly containing financial information on the company, for the qualified bidders signing Confidentiality Undertaking (CU).
A ‘Clean Data Room’ containing commercially sensitive information on the firm subject to their signing an additional confidentiality agreement was also opened for bidders.
Bidders which included mining-to-oil conglomerate Vedanta and private equity firms Apollo Global and I Squared Capital’s arm Think Gas were also allowed physical inspection of assets such as refineries and depots as part of the due diligence process.
The government was to seek financial bids once bidders completed due diligence and the terms and conditions of the share purchase agreement (SPA) were negotiated. But that stage was never reached. BPCL had in an earnings call with investors on February 2, 2022, stated that no bidder had visited the firm’s premises in the previous quarter (October-December 2021). The data room access for due diligence was available for a period of around 8 weeks.