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Indian Oil set to acquire IBP

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Feb. 4

INDIAN Oil Corporation (IOC) is set to acquire a controlling stake in the State-owned petro marketing company, IBP Ltd, according to sources.

This follows the Monday meeting of the Committee of Secretaries on Disinvestment, during which the bids received for the sale of IBP were discussed.

The Government received seven financial bids in this regard - from IOC, Reliance Industries Ltd, Reliance Petroleum Ltd, Shell, Kuwait Petroleum Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

The results of the evaluation will be presented to the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment on February 5.

Industry sources believe that the Tatas have emerged as the frontrunners for VSNL, which will also be taken up at Tuesday's CCD meeting.

Awarding of IBP to IOC would mean that the former would remain in the Government fold since the Union Cabinet had decided that IOC, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) would remain Government companies.

IBP is purely a petro marketing company with 1,500 retail outlets located in the eastern and northern regions of the country.

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