NEW DELHI :
State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and the Tripura government are seeking to buy Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd’s (IL&FS) 26% stake in the ₹3,804-crore ONGC Tripura Power Co. Ltd (OTPC), which runs the Palatana power project in Tripura.
The stakeholders have evinced interest in acquiring the stake held by the beleaguered IL&FS by leveraging the share-holder pact, which states that IL&FS should offload its share to stakeholders under distress conditions at a 20% discount on the ₹10 share face value.
The stake of IL&FS is to be proportionately divided among the shareholders.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd has a 50% stake in the project, IL&FS holds 26%, and GIP has a 23.5% stake, with the Tripura government holding a 0.5% stake.
The 726.6 megawatt (MW) project is an integral part of the government’s efforts to develop infrastructure in the North-East and has been touted as the singlelargest investment in the region.
OTPC is a profit-making firm and pays dividends to its stakeholders.
“In OTPC, the Tripura-based gas power project, IL&FS has a 26% share. In the agreement, it is written that whenever IL&FS faces duress, it will sell its stake to other shareholders," said a person aware of the development requesting anonymity.
An IL&FS spokesperson declined to comment. Queries emailed to the spokespersons of ONGC and GIP remained unanswered till press time.
M.K. Sinha, managing partner and co-head, GIP India, did not respond to Mint’s queries.
The government has replaced the previous management of IL&FS with an Uday Kotak-led board of directors to oversee a resolution process.
IL&FS is implementing various asset monetization programmes to raise funds and repay debt.
This includes the sale of its securities business, renewable energy assets, roads portfolio and EPC capabilities.
“According to the shareholder agreement, the existing stakeholders have the first right of refusal. ONGC, Global Infrastructure Partners and Tripura government have written to IL&FS stating that its stake be acquired by them. The issue was mutually discussed among the existing stakeholders and the view was communicated to the IL&FS," said a second person aware of the development who also did not want to be named.