Bengal government to auction stake in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd

The Bengal government plans to put up for auction its entire stake in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), as per telegraphindia. The state government holds 67.5 crore shares in HPL, which translates into equity holding of 43.29%. Its equity interest in HPL includes 27.1 crore preference shares.The government has been advised by legal experts on the Supreme Court judgment. This decision comes almost two months after the Supreme Court rejected TCG’s appeal demanding that it be re-installed as the majority owner of the company. A crucial board meeting of HPL is due to be held on Monday. Meanwhile, Mr Chatterjee has been camping in Calcutta and trying to persuade the Trinamul Congress government to honour an agreement TCG signed with the Left Front government in 2002. Under the terms of that deal, the government was supposed to transfer 15.5 crore shares to TCG on terms extremely favourable to the recipient. The Company Law Board had upheld TCG’s claim to ownership of the disputed shares under the 2002 agreement but this was overturned by Calcutta High Court. While dismissing TCG’s appeal, the Supreme Court had not commented on the high court’s verdict. TCG currently holds a 44.21% in HPL. Reliance Industries, India’s largest private sector company, has already expressed its desire to participate in the auction. Indian Oil Corporation, which has a 9.62% stake in HPL, is regarded as a strong contender. State-owned GAIL India has also evinced interest in the company
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