Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL), one of the promoters of Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), wants Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) to divest a part of its stake in the refinery so that it can meet minimum public shareholding norms, said two HPCL officials aware of the development. At the end of June, HPCL held a 16.95% stake in MRPL, and ONGC, the other promoter, owned 71.6%. The public shareholding in MRPL was 11.42%, less than half the 25% prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
“ONGC holds majority share in MRPL while our shareholding is small in comparison. We would prefer if ONGC offloads (a part of) their stake for MRPL to meeting the public holding norm,” one of the HPCL officials cited above said, requesting anonymity. MRPL and ONGC did not reply to emails sent on Friday.
At MRPL’s annual general meeting, held on 3 September, the company said it authorised its board “for exercising any of the options available” to meet Sebi’s public shareholding norms. Options before the board include divestment of the promoters’ shareholding through an offer for sale or issue of fresh shares by MRPL through a public offer.