Will take call on HPL after Bengal's move: IOC chairman

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 15:50 hrs

Kolkata, Feb 14 (IANS) Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Thursday hinted that it would take a call on taking a controlling stake in the cash-strapped Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) following the West Bengal government's decision to appoint a consultancy firm company to advise on the proposed sale of its shares.

Asked whether IOC would be interested in the petrochemical firm if the government put its shares up for sale, company chairman R.S. Butola said: "They (the government) have appointed Deloitte to evaluate and then (they will) take a decision. So as of now there is no decision. We will take a call when such decision is taken."

Public sector IOC already has an 8.89 percent stake in HPL, the second largest maker of polyethylene in India and co-promoted by the Bengal government and The Chatterjee Group (TCG).

The state government's industry promotion body, West Bengal Industry Development Corporation (WBIDC) has recently appointed Deloitte as a transaction advisor for the proposed sale of its shares in HPL. The consultancy firm would evaluate the shares of the company after which WBIDC is likely put its entire block of shareholding in HPL for auction.

Butola pointed out that Indian Oil already has some refineries at Haldia and those refineries have "some synergy" with that of the HPL.

"There is some synergy. And it is for everybody to see whether this synergy suits or not... when these questions will be asked we will take a call," he added.

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