Center will soon begin selling Balmer Lawrie

After a long hiatus of two years, the central government will begin the process of divesting Balmer Lawrie, a key public sector company owned by India’s Ministry of Oil and Gas.

Already in 2020, the government decided to privatize the company, but then paused because of the valuation issue.

In the case of Balmer Lawrie, the Indian government had decided to sell its 52.63% stake in the company through a strategic divestment. The divestment process began in 2020 and the government solicited bids from interested parties to sell their stake in the company.

In December 2020, the government received several offers from interested parties, including private companies and consortia. The bidding process was conducted in a two-stage process, in which interested bidders were invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP).

In March 2021, the Government announced that it had selected Tata Group as the winning bidder for the strategic divestment of Balmer Lawrie.

However, as of April 2023, the divestment process had not yet been completed and it is unclear whether the transaction has been completed or not.

In her new budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman states that the government has set a divestment target of Rs 65,000 crore for FY23.

Balmer Lawrie, a 155-year-old company, has eight strategic business units – Industrial Packaging, Greases & Lubricants, Chemicals, Travel & Holidays, Logistics Infrastructure, Logistics Services, Cold Chain, and Refining & Oilfield Services – with offices across the country and overseas.

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