ONGC to acquire Centre's stake in HPCL for Rs. 36915 cr

Jan 23, 2018, 00:19
ONGC to acquire Centre's stake in HPCL for Rs. 36915 cr

ONGC will acquire the government's holding in the country's third-largest refiner-marketer Hindustan Petroleum for almost Rs 37,000 crore to complete the first consolidation exercise in the public sector energy space.

ONGC will pay 473.97 rupees per share in cash for HPCL, equivalent to a 14 percent premium to the closing price for the shares on Friday.

ONGC has entered into a share purchase agreement with the President for acquiring the 778,845,375 equity shares of HPCL (representing 51.11 per cent of HPCL) on 20th January 2018. The deal is likely to be completed by the end of January, Business Standard reported. "For HPCL, specifically, the transaction changes little on ground, with the company retaining its independent identity and only direct ownership changing hands", pointed out Probal Sen of IDFC Securities in a report on 21 January.

The goal of this deal was to create an integrated oil major to compete with global rivals and will help the government meet annual disinvestment target. "The transaction is exempt from the requirement to make an open offer", the statement said.

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"More vertical integrations in the oil sector such as that of ONGC and HPCL are possible", oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target to reduce dependence on oil imports by 10 percent by 2020.

The Centre accordingly expanded the approach from disinvestment to investment and public asset management.

As part of its investment management strategy, the government chose to explore possibilities of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions within the CPSE space.

ONGC owns 71.63 per cent in MRPL and HPCL 16.96 per cent. The integrated entity will have advantage of having enhanced capacity to bear higher risks and take higher investment decisions.

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With a turnover of Rs 2,13,489 crore and profit of Rs 6,502 crore during 2016-17, HPCL ranks at 384th position in Fortune Global 500 and 48th place in Platts 250 Global Energy Companies.

The company now has about 130 billion rupees in cash reserve, Shanker said, adding that the company could also sell the shares it holds in India's biggest refiner Indian Oil Corp. and state-run gas utility GAIL India Ltd.

Talks of regrouping ONGC's assets have intensified with the executives of both the companies seeing value in bringing all the refining assets under HPCL.

With regards to MRPL, he said it is a standalone refinery but don't have marketing network.

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