HPL disinvestment becoming uncertain, says IOC

State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) today said the disinvestment process of Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL) has become totally uncertain.

"We had submitted the bid on October 7 to WBIDC and so far there has been no communication to us on the issue," a senior IOC official associated with the development told PTI.

The official said by this time the share purchase agreement (SPA) either with IOC or TCG (had it exercised the first right of refusal) should have been completed.

"The entire timeline has gone haywire and we do not know the future", the official said, adding the bid would remain valid if the terms and conditions were satisfied.

"The basic premise of validity hinged around the sale of 675 million shares. However out of that, the ownership of 155 million shares has become contentious and thus doubtful," the official said.

West Bengal government, through its arm WBIDC, had decided to offload its shares (which included the controversial 155 million shares) following which IOC emerged as the sole valid bidder.

However, TCG instead of exercising the first right of refusal, moved the court questioning the ownership of 155 million shares.

Subsequently, Supreme Court allowed TCG to take the issue to the International Court of Arbitration in Paris to determine the ownership of the shares.

"The West Bengal government should let us know what is the status. We also suggest that the West Bengal government and TCG should sit down and discuss and come out with a solution", he said.

Meanwhile, the HPL board has approved the proposed rights issue of the company.

The rights issue was to raise Rs 1300 crore for capital infusion into the company.