The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the deal between Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and BP for fuel retailing in India. This deal was announced in August 2019 when BP and RIL said that they would form a new joint venture that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India.
This joint venture called Reliance BP Mobility Ltd (RBPML) builds on Reliance's existing Indian fuel retailing network and on aviation fuel business.
The CCI approval on Thursday evening is for the transfer of RIL’s group entities that undertake the business of owning, operating and conducting petroleum retail. CCI also approved the transfer of certain specified mobile aviation business assets at certain airport locations (which are currently owned and used by RIL) for RBPML to operate RIL’s aviation fuel business in India as a service provider.
Under the approved deal, BP Global is acquiring an aggregate 49 per cent of the fully diluted paid-up equity share capital and voting rights in RBPML by way of acquisition of existing equity shares of RBPML from RIL and subscription by BP Global to fresh equity shares of RBPML.
The venture expects to expand from RIL’s current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 retail sites and 30 aviation fuel stations across India to up to 5,500 retail sites and 45 aviation fuel stations over the next five years. The retail network will operate under the Jio-BP brand. The joint venture will seek to offer Indian consumers high-quality differentiated fuels, convenience and services. Castrol lubricants will also be available across the venture’s network, a joint statement from RIL-BP had said when the deal was announced.
CCI said that BP Global is an investment holding company and holds shares in subsidiaries and associated companies. RBPML, currently, does not conduct any business operations and, accordingly, does not have any business activities in India or anywhere else in the world. However, post the proposed combination, it will operate the business that will be transferred to RBPML by RIL and its group entities.