Richa Mishra

This Oscar Wilde quote describes me the best: Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself. My friends and colleagues say am soaked in 'oil'. But, I am still learning to count in barrels and smell the gas. This with just the right blend of music and sport.

Richa Mishra

Public sector – Saab Chalta Hai!

| Updated on March 09, 2018

On June 10, around 6 pm, ONGC Videsh Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of public sector explorer and producer, ONGC, announced a $ 2.5 billion buyout of Videocon Industries’ stake in a Mozambique gas field. But, around 8:45 pm, the same was withdrawn, without citing any reasons.

It, of course, led to journalistic imagination running wild - some saying rupee depreciation was an issue, while others stating that there were some technical issues to be sorted out.

A little prodding revealed that it was just a communication error between two individuals involved with issuing the statement that led to this. Well really!

Involved were two public sector entities – ONGC and Oil India – and Videocon Industries’, another listed entity. This meant a direct impact on stock movement of these entities.

In fact, the statement also came as a ‘pleasant surprise’ to the officials – both in ONGC Videsh and Oil India — who were working on the deal. The deal was not yet fully concluded then, they said.

The reason citied for withdrawal was ‘inadvertently issued’. Interestingly, the statement announcing the deal gave all the details, right from equity structure to how the acquisition will be done through formation of a new venture.

Shuffle back to June 25 around 1:10 pm, we get a statement from Oil India, followed by ONGC. It is more or less the same statement that was issued on June 10.

The subject was same, the announcement was same, in fact, the release was same to a large extent.

Interestingly, the statement by ONGC Chairman Videsh Sudhir Vasudeva also remained unedited: “Considering the growing importance of natural gas in the primary energy basket, this acquisition is a significant step by OVL/ONGC group towards the energy security of our country.”

Talk about a quick job. But, wicked mind is not statisfied.

It wants to know:

Is anyone questioning the entities on how the deal was announced when it was yet to be firmed up? If it was a private sector, would a simple statement ‘inadvertently issued’ make do with the regulators? Has the Government questioned entity?

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Published on June 25, 2013
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