Adani Group and a consortium of companies, including Reliance Power, have evinced initial interest in acquiring the 16.22 per cent stake of government PSUs — NTPC, NHPC, PFC and Power Grid — in PTC India.
Sources said the government has been mulling on offloading its promoter shareholding in PTC India, as it does not have a controlling stake. Power Ministry through its PSUs has a minority stake and hence cannot influence decisions. The discussions are ongoing for off-loading the stake at present. More clarity will emerge by month-end, said one of the sources.
The four Power Ministry PSUs, which are part of promoter group, hold 4.05 per cent stake each in PTC India. Besides, two other government entities — LIC (5.96 per cent) and Damodar Valley Corporation (3.38 per cent) — also have a stake. At present, it is not clear whether these two firms will also sell their stake. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) hold 31.67 per cent stake in PTC India.
Another source said that Adani Group and a consortium of firms, including Reliance Power, have expressed preliminary interest in the country’s leading power trading firm and are evaluating their options. No bids have been submitted so far.
No response was received from PTC India, NTPC, NHPC, Power Grid, Reliance Power and the Adani Group till the time of going to the press. However, on December 19, 2022, PTC India informed BSE that it is not aware of any developments of stake sale by promoter companies.
Stake sale in PTC India
When asked if the recent controversies surrounding PTC India and its subsidiary, PTC India Financial Services (PFS), have been a reason behind the stake sale, a senior government official said the Ministry has been deliberating on this issue since 2019.
“The discussions stopped due to Covid, but have been revived now and a decision on off-loading the stake has been firmed up. At present, the discussions are on with interested parties,” he added.
In December 2022, four out of the six non-executive independent directors on the board of PTC India resigned. The directors in their resignation letters raised concerns over governance issues at the power trading firm and its subsidiary company.
In January 2022, PFS courted controversy after three of its independent directors resigned from the board alleging serious corporate governance issues. Subsequently, PFS was directed by the SEBI to first address the corporate governance issues at the firm and was barred from reporting quarterly results till they address these issues.