Torrent beats IGL to seal deal for Sanwariya Gas

Vol 24, PW 2 (03 Dec 20) Midstream & Downstream

Torrent Gas has beaten Indraprastha Gas (IGL) to acquire Mathura city gas retailer Sanwariya Gas.

This report learns Torrent and Sanwariya finalised the deal in the first half of November (2020). Unconfirmed reports say the deal value is worth up to Rs130cr ($18m).

IGL was also in talks with Sanwariya but could not match Torrent’s fast decision-making. "You cannot compare IGL with Torrent," adds another source.

"IGL is a listed company and must follow lots of procedures and processes while Torrent is a privately held company and moves much faster." The PNGRB cleared the way for the deal to go through when on November 6 (2020) it finally amended the letter of authorisation issued to a joint venture of DSM Infratech and Saumya Mining on June 12 (2009) in favour of Sanwariya, the JV's new brand name.

It also granted 60 days for the company to top up the Rs1.05cr ($135,000) performance bank guarantee, encashed to pay a civil penalty against the company. Last month (November), PNGRB insiders report that Torrent group chairman Sudhir Mehta visited the gas regulator's HQ in Delhi.

They describe the visit as a courtesy call to wish farewell to outgoing chairman DK Sarraf. But insiders link it to Torrent’s takeover of Sanwariya, saying Mehta was either there to thank Sarraf or to ask him to clear the deal or both.

Since getting its authorisation in 2009, Sanwariya has so far laid a gas pipeline network of 500-km and set up seven CNG stations to sell gas to 15,000 vehicles. On average it sells 60,000 cm/d of piped gas to 5000 homes and 125 factories.