India’s Vedanta Ltd, the billionaire Anil Agarwal-controlled metals-to-oil conglomerate, said on Wednesday it was interested in buying the government’s stake in the state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, India’s largest fuel retailer.
“Vedanta’s expression of interest (EoI) for BPCL is to evaluate potential synergies with our existing oil & gas business,” the company said in a statement, adding that The EoI was at a “preliminary stage and exploratory in nature.”
India’s government, which is looking to finance welfare schemes and bridge a fiscal deficit that has already topped the annual target, had aimed to raise $8 billion to $10 billion through the sale of its stake in BPCL. But BPCL’s share price has plunged by nearly a fourth over the past year.
The government, which had closed the window for submitting preliminary bids to buy its entire stake in BPCL on Monday, had said it received interest from multiple parties. The bids are being currently evaluated.