BP sells 8.5% stake in Castrol India
BP Plc

London-headquartered energy giant BP Plc has sold 8.5% stake in public-listed lubricants arm Castrol India Ltd for Rs 1,824 crore ($270 million) on Tuesday. The deal brings down BP’s stake in the Indian unit to 51%.

Last week, Castrol India had said that Ralph Hewins ceased to be nominee director of its UK parent with effect from 31 August.

In May, BP that had acquired Castrol globally in 2002 had sold 11.5% stake in the Indian lubricants unit for about Rs 2,075 crore ($308 million) to investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

BP held about 71% of Castrol India before the sale while institutional and public investors owned the remaining. BP had said then that it intends to continue as the majority shareholder of Castrol India and that this transaction will have no impact on staff or customers of Castrol India.

"We will continue to have strategic control of Castrol India and this decision is independent of our upstream investments which we continue to progress," said Sashi Mukundan, BP's country head for India. "We are investing in India and plan to continue to do so."

Castrol India makes and sells automotive, industrial and marine lubricants. For the full year 2015, it posted net sales of Rs 3,298 crore while profit after tax rose 30% to Rs 615 crore. In contrast, its global parent reported record loss of $6.5 billion in 2015.

Castrol India Ltd share price rose 8.8% to end at Rs 459.6 each on BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Tuesday.

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