ONGC proposes to start the process of merging its refining subsidiary Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) with Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) to leverage synergies in its refining vertical.

“We will start working on the process now,” Chairman ONGC, Arun Kumar Singh, told businessline.

ONGC has been considering the merger to leverage synergies and streamline its downstream vertical, he said adding:  “A step towards this has been consolidating the refining and petrochemical business around MRPL, by merging OMPL (ONGC-Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd) with it.”

While it is clear that post merger, the MRPL brand will seize to exist, the dynamics of the entire process is yet to be worked out. According to Singh, “merging MRPL with HPCL will in a way help in compensating HPCL’s under-refining capacity (extra which HPCL can sell, but which is beyond its refining capacity).”

The merger process will be in keeping with the changing geopolitical dynamics as well as business environment locally existingpost Covid. It will also take some time as MRPL is a listed entity and there are SEBI norms to be followed, apart from taxation issues.

Merger of MRPL with HPCL will require some transition time as HPCL also happens to be one of the promoters of MRPL. All the three companies involved – HPCL, MRPL and ONGC - are listed and all the processes will have to go through as per the legal requirement.

OMPL acquisition

Meanwhile, MRPL has completed the acquisition of OMPL. OMPL was jointly promoted by ONGC and MRPL with shareholding in the ratio of 49 and 51 per cent, respectively. The MRPL board on December 3, approved the acquisition of up to 100 per cent of the compulsorily convertible debentures (CCD) issued by OMPL (a wholly-owned subsidiary of MRPL) from the debenture holders for an aggregate consideration of up to ₹1,000 crore. The fourth quarter of 2021-22 was set as the indicative time period for the completion of the acquisition.

OMPL has an aromatic complex in the Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ). OMPL was incorporated on June 19, 2006, and commissioned in October 2014 at a total project cost of ₹6,911 crore . OMPL produces paraxylene and benzene. These products are sold mainly through exports.