MRPL Board To Consider ONGC Offer Today

New Delhi, July 30: | Updated: Jul 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
The state-run exploration firm, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), is likely to clinch a deal within a week to buy Aditya Birla group’s stake in the joint venture Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), whose board is meeting on Wednesday to consider the proposal.

The board of MRPL, which has AV Birla group and state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) as equal partners, would meet in Mumbai to ratify the deal, informed sources said.

When contacted, ONGC chairman and managing director Subir Raha declined to comment. “We are close to finalising the deal. Beyond this I would not like to say anything.”

In the two-pronged step, ONGC would buy AV Birla group’s 37.39 per cent stake in MRPL for about Rs 2 per share in the first instance and then infuse less than Rs 1,000 crore additional capital for majority stake and management control of the loss-making refinery, sources said. As a result, ONGC would have close to 60 per cent stake in MRPL while HPCL stake would fall from 37.39 per cent to 15-16 per cent.