West Bengal government to appoint advisor for valuation of HPL shares with a view to offload them

23-Nov-12
The West Bengal government will soon appoint an advisor for valuing its shares in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) with a view to offload them, as reported by Hindubusinessline. While the State Government owns around 39% equity in HPL, The Chatterjee Group (TCG) has around 36% in the company. An auction of the government’s shares would be held among the bidders and the highest price fetched would be offered to the other principal promoter, Purnendu Chatterjee’s TCG as first right of refusal. If TCG declines to buy the shares at that price, then the shares will be given to the highest bidder.Sources in HPL, however, expressed concerned over the timing of the move to sell stake. “At the moment, it is becoming extremely difficult to run the company. If the government wants to make an exit at this moment, it may not be able to recover the investments made in the company”, the HPL source said. The petrochemicals industry at the moment is facing a supply glut. The high price of naphtha was adding to the woes as the company was more dependent on imports. “We are trying to increase the supply of domestic naphtha”, HPL sources said.
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