The Chatterjee Group (TCG), one of HPL's key promoters, has released an advertisement cautioning probable bidders for the government's stake. With this new development, the stake sale process of the West Bengal government in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) takes a new turn. The reason behind the advertisement is that the 155 million disputed shares, key to get the management control in eastern India's biggest petrochemical company, happen to be part of the 675 million shares (around 40%) that the government has put on the block.
"This is to give notice that any person submitting an expression of interest for the purchase of/purchasing aforesaid the 675 million shares, is doing so subject to all existing rights of CPMC (Chatterjee Mauritius Company)/CPCL (Chatterjee Petrochem India Pvt Ltd) under various agreements with GoWB/WBIDC and entirely at their own risk and peril," the advertisement said. "The disputed 155 million shares are no more on the balance sheets of WBIDC. How can the government offer to sell them? Thus, we thought it was necessary to let everyone know what they are getting into," said TCG President Anirudha Lahiri. "TCG has made payments to WBIDC. But the state industrial development arm has stopped accepting the payments owing to reasons best known to them," Lahiri said.