Indian public sector oil and gas company Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) has decided to offer stock options to its employees at one-third of the market price. This development comes as the Mumbai headquartered company plans to reward staff ahead of its privatisation. On Friday, The board “approved the proposed BPCL Employee Stock Purchase Scheme (ESPS).” But this is for the specified employees through the trust mechanism, subject to the approval of the shareholders”.
According to the Mint’s report which quotes the regulatory filing, the Indian government is selling all of its 52.98% stake in BPCL to a strategic investor. This Expression of Interest (EoI) for the privatisation plan is due on 30th September 2020.
BPCL Trust for Investment in Shares
Interestingly, reports also claim that BPCL Trust for Investment in Shares holds around 9.33% stake of paid-up share capital. So the company is going to offer 2% of these shares to employees at one-third the price.
Meanwhile, it made clear that this allotment will not affect the government’s shares in the PSU, which is around 52.98%. Notably, BPCL is one of the key entities in the government’s privatisation plan. As the Indian govt. plans Rs 2.1 lakh crore divestment for the current fiscal.
Also, BPCL offered a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to some employees last month, under its privatisation plan. However, in its regulatory filing, the PSU said;
“The Trust formed for the purpose shall purchase the aforesaid shares from the ‘BPCL Trust for Investment in Shares’. This is under the secondary acquisition through the stock exchanges as per the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefits) Regulations, 2014, and other applicable laws”.
Speculated Key Features Of BPCL Employee Stock Purchase Scheme (ESPS)
- A one-year lock-in period for the shares that employees buy under ESPS.
- BPCL not yet decided, what to do with the remaining 7.33% shares held by the Trust.
- BPCL is a beneficiary of BPCL Trust for Investment in Shares, which is an independent entity.
- ESPS can be executed in strict compliance with the SEBI norms.
- BPCL will seek shareholders’ approval at its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) for the same.
- BPCL will make a former offer to employees only after shareholders’ approval.
Meantime, on Friday, BPCL closed at ₹403.40 per share on the BSE.