IOC peeved at West Bengal govt's move on HPL
Kolkata: State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), who emerged as the sole bidder for buying out West Bengal government's stake in ailing Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the state's decision not to open the bid submitted yesterday.
"The situation is completely uncertain and the West Bengal government has defaulted on its part," a senior Delhi-based IOC official said.
The official said in the revised share purchase agreement (SPA), it was clearly mentioned the bids would be opened in the evening of the same day of submission, the deadline of which was 11 am.
"But surprisingly, they decided not to open the bid and had not given formal intimation in this regard", the official said.
"We will wait for a few days since the Puja festivities are round the corner and then write to the government to know its stand. A bid cannot remain valid indefinitely", he said.
IOC, which already holds 8.8 percent stake in HPL, had bid for the government's entire block of close to 40 percent.
The official also said that certain norms of bidding procedures were also deviated.
Generally, the bidders were given a presentation on the determination of the reserve price before bidding. "But in this case, no such thing was done and the reserve price was not intimated," he said.
Although five companies, Reliance, ONGC, GAIL, Cairn India and IOC had emerged as qualified bidders, only one bidder participated in the process.
The other major shareholder, TCG, would be offered to exercise first right of refusal to match the IOC bid, failing which the shares would be offloaded to the oil PSU.
TCG will have 30 days to respond to accept or decline the offer.
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