RPL, a subsidiary of RIL, was created to execute the 5,80,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) export-oriented refinery in the Jamnagar special economic zone (SEZ). Chevron became a joint promoter of RPL by buying a 5% stake for $300 million three years ago with the option to acquiring a 24% stake in RPL after commissioning of the refinery.
The official told ET: â€œThe stake will be sold at Rs 60 a share, the price at which Chevron acquired it three years ago. Chevron will exit its stake in RPL by April, by the time merger becomes effective.â€
No confirmation of this could be obtained from Chevron. It has until July 27, or three months after the plant is fully commissioned, to decide whether to raise its stake, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The RIL board is now schedule to meet on Monday to consider merger of its subsidiary RPL with itself. If it happens, Chevron Corp will lose the option to buy the additional 24% stake in RPL and it will either have to sell its 5% stake in RPL to RIL or settle for a lower stake in the merged entity.
When asked for comments, PMS Prasad, president and CEO for RILâ€™s petroleum business told ET: â€œI have no clue, you should ask Chevron. They have not informed us of anything as such.â€
However, Mr Prasad confirmed that RIL and Chevron had not signed a number of agreements without which Chevron could not increase its stake in RPL. These agreements include crude supply and product offtake agreement.
â€œRIL is setting up its own trading offices in Singapore, Dubai, London and US. This means RIL is going solo and Chevron is out of RPL sooner or latter,â€ said an analyst working with international brokerage.
The speculation about Chevron exiting stake in RPL started when RIL sold its 4% stake in open market for Rs 4,000 crore, there by reducing its stake from 75% to 71% in late 2007.
If Chevron had to buy a 24% stake in RPL from RIL the latterâ€™s stake in RPL would have fallen below 50%.
Shares of RIL on the BSE lost 1.9% to close at Rs 1265 while RPL also lost 1.2% to close at Rs 76.2 over the previous dayâ€™s close.