UK’s BP has trimmed its stake in Castrol India after it sold 11.5 per cent stake in the lubricant firm for about Rs 2,075 crore. BP, which held 70.92 per cent stake in Castrol India, sold 5.68 crore share at an average price of Rs 365.
The company, in a statement, said the stake was sold “to a range of domestic and international investors”. Bob Dudley, BP Group Chief Executive, said: “BP remains committed to India and we wish to continue to grow our businesses here, progressing our upstream natural gas developments as well as our downstream opportunities, including lubricants.”
BP, through Castrol, intends to continue as the majority shareholder of Castrol India, the statement said. “There will be no impact from this financial transaction on staff or customers of Castrol India or on its existing contracts.”
Sashi Mukundan, BP’s Head of Country, India, said: “India is a key market for Castrol with tremendous growth potential and is a major element of our global lubricant business. We will continue to have strategic control of Castrol India and this decision is independent of our upstream investments which we continue to progress. We are investing in India and plan to continue to do so.”
Castrol India MD Omer Dormen said Castrol India delivered a record performance with net profit of around Rs 615 crore during 2015, 30 per cent up from the previous year.
“This strong performance has continued in the first quarter of 2016 with post-tax profit of Rs 172 crore for the quarter. We are in a solid position today and will continue to benefit from our strong brands, enduring relationships and the commitment of our staff,” he added.
Castrol India manufactures and markets automotive, industrial and marine lubricants distributed through over 370 distributors from over 80,000 retail outlets. It has three manufacturing plants located in Silvassa, Patalganga and Paharpur.
Citigroup Global Markets and ICICI Securities executed the sale on stock exchanges for BP. “BP has undertaken a strategic portfolio review to optimise the deployment of capital across different businesses.
BP believes this option is a good opportunity to release capital while maintaining its commitment to our lubricant business in India and continuing to have strategic control of Castrol India,” the company said. Also, the transaction has no impact on the long-term Castrol strategy, which will continue to be driven by the management of Castrol in conjunction with the global lubricant business, it added.