Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will decide whether to bid for the West Bengal government's 40 per cent stake in Haldia Petrochemicals (HPL)
It may be recalled that the state government invited expressions of interest (EoIs) through West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation for selling its stake in HPL.
However, of the 675 million shares that the state wants to offload, The Chatterjee Group (TCG), one of HPL’s key promoters, claims right of first refusal over 155 million shares.
The board of ONGC will also consider the claim of TCG over part of the stake. TCG brought out an advertisement cautioning probable bidders for the government’s stake citing the dispute over 155 million shares.
If the ONGC decides to bid for HPL, it would do it either through ONGC or its subsidiary MRPL, Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC informed.
The Calcutta High Court recently passed an interim order restraining the state government from altering the shareholding pattern of HPL to the extent of disputed 155 million shares. On June 10, the matter will again be heard.
Meanwhile, Vasudeva said the firm was willing to partner with Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo–Dutch multinational, on upstream, downstream or deepwater operations if the latter is also interested.