Sify.com (India): Shell still in race to buy HPCL: “The Shell Group of companies worldwide would move 'large amounts of work' pertaining to Information Technology application service to India…” (ShellNews.net) 8 Dec 04
Wednesday, 08 December, 2004, 10:52
Bangalore: Royal Dutch-Shell is interested in buying state-owned HPCL if the government decides to disinvest the company, Shell India chairman Vikram S Mehta said on Tuesday.
In response to a question at a press conference in Bangalore, Mehta noted that his company had bid for IBP three years ago, but it was outbid by IOC.
Thereafter, when HPCL was being considered for disinvestment, Shell had shown interest, but disinvestment itself did not come through.
"Now, in the event of the government deciding to disinvest, we will be interested,” Mehta said. If it's sold on a strategic basis, Shell would be interested.
Shell opened its first petrol station after 1976, when it (then known as Burmah Shell) left the country after the government bought its assets, in Bangalore last week.
The company is sourcing the products of Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited, an ONGC subsidiary.
At present, Shell does not have any plans to set up a refinery, but once it gains a "significant market share", it would make a serious review, he said.
The Shell Group of companies worldwide would move 'large amounts of work' pertaining to Information Technology application service to India, where Shell IT's work is being 'handled' by Wipro and IBM. "The Shell group of companies have moved 350 jobs to India", Mehta added.
Shell has a licence to open a network of 2,000 petrol pump stations in India. Shell has said that in the first phase, which would see the company rolling out such stations in south India, it proposed to invest Rs 250 crore.
Initially, the petrol stations would be company-owned and run, but that strategy could change in the future, he said.
In the second and third phase, the company plans to roll out stations nationally. But these two phases would depend on the success of the first one, he said.
Shell has invested $850 million in India since 1994. The Shell Group regards the Indian market as a very important one and a "strategically important destination", he added.