BP plc of the UK today sold a further 8.53 per cent stake in its lubricant maker Castrol India to bring its shareholding down to 51 per cent.
BP, which had in May sold 11.5 per cent shares in Castrol India, sold 4.22 crore shares.
“As a result of the two sales, BP now holds 51 per cent interest in Castrol India. BP, through Castrol Limited, intends to continue as the majority shareholder in Castrol India,” the company said in a statement.
Prior to the sale, BP held 29.38 crore shares or 59.42 per cent stake in Castrol India. It sold 4.22 crore shares or 8.53 per cent, bringing its shareholding down to 50.89 per cent (25.16 crore shares).
“BP remains the majority shareholder in Castrol India and we remain committed to long-term investment in India, including both progressing natural gas developments with our partners as well as growing our downstream businesses in the country which include both fuels marketing and lubricants,” BP Group chief executive Bob Dudley said.
Castrol India manufactures and markets automotive, industrial and marine lubricants distributed through 370-plus distributors from over 80,000 retail outlets. It has three manufacturing plants located at Silvassa, Patalganga and Paharpur.
Sashi Mukundan, BP’s Head of Country, India, said: “Castrol India has grown successfully over decades and, as majority shareholder, BP remains committed to supporting its continued growth.”
BP does not expect this transaction to impact staff or customers of Castrol India or its existing contracts, the statement said.
With many investments and employing around 8,500 people in the oil, gas, lubricants and petrochemicals businesses, BP is the largest international oil company in India.
In addition to its gas value chain alliance with Reliance Industries, BP’s activities include lubricants, through its interest in Castrol India; the licensing of petrochemical technologies; oil and gas trading; IT, procurement and financial services for global operations; staffing and training for its global marine fleet; and the recruitment of skilled Indian employees for its global businesses.