The government has again decided to extend the deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest (EoI) for Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) from September 30 to November 16. This is the fourth time in a row when the deadline for bidding has been extended.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said in an order that “in view of further requests received from the interested bidders (IBs) and the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the last date for submission of expressions of interest (EoIs) is further extended to November 16, 2020 (by 5.00 pm).”
In November last year, the Cabinet had approved to sell government’s entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL.
The government had first invited bids by May 2. This was then extended till June 13, and then to July 31 in the second extension and to September 30 in the third instance.
While the government has invited bids from private companies, it has barred PSUs from bidding for BPCL and expects private sector Indian players and global MNCs to bid for its stake. The government’s stake in BPCL is worth around Rs 50,000 crore.
The bidding for BPCL comprises two phases, first: participation of qualified bidders in the EOI stage. Second: financial bids. Private firms with a net worth of over $10 billion will be eligible for the bidding.
Shares of the state-run oil major plunged on Wednesday after the extension of the deadline. At 11.24 a.m., its shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 362.25, lower by Rs 23.95 or 6.20 per cent from its previous close.