New Mumbai :
The board of ONGC has approved exiting helicopter service provider Pawan Hans by selling its entire 49 per cent stake as it looks to cut debt and consolidate resources in core oil and gas business, officials with direct knowledge of the development said.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) wants its interest to be clubbed with the 51 per cent government stake that is already on offer for sale, they said. The Department of Disinvestment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which floated the offer for sale for government’s 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans twice in the last 10 months, is likely to issue an amended expression of interest (EoI) shortly.
Officials said ONGC of the view that its investment in Pawan Hans is no longer strategic as it charter hires helicopters to ferry staff to its oil and gas locations, mostly in offshore, through competitive bidding. Of the 22 helicopters it currently has on hire, just seven or less than a third are from Pawan Hans. Pawan Hans owns a fleet of 46 helicopters.
“The board of directors of ONGC, at the 308th meeting held on June 29, accorded its in-principle approval for exploring options for the restructuring of ONGC group companies including exiting some with a view to consolidating business,” an official said.