DoD wants IBP disinvestment before year-end

Vol 5, PW 20 (21 Nov 01) People & Policy

If all goes well Kolkata-based state-owned petrol and diesel retailer IBP Petroleum should have a new owner before the end of the year.

By then, if plans of the Department of Disinvestment go through, the new owner will walk away with a 33.59% stake and management control. PETROWATCH learns that last month the DoD prepared a timetable for the IBP disinvestment in consultation with its international adviser HSBC.

On 24th November all 12 bidders will be sent bid documents. These must be returned by 21st December when they will also be opened.

Believe it or not, by 29th December IBP will be handed over to the successful bidder! Really IBP's disinvestment should have happened in August! An IBP source tells us only six of the 12 are considered "serious bidders". Who is serious Reliance, Shell, BP-Amoco, Indian Oil, Kuwait Petroleum and Essar-Petrom.

Reliance has put in two bids, one by Reliance Industries and the other by Reliance Petroleum. Considered less serious are: Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, Nagarjuna Oil, TotalFinaElf and Tyumen Oil-Sun Securities.

We are also told that the government's consultant HSBC has prepared a valuation for IBP. Understandably, this has been kept away from our prying eyes.

What price could IBP fetch "Currently the share price is trading at Rs400 ($8.69)," reveals a source. "You could easily put a premium of Rs100 ($2.12) over that."