State-run GAIL (India) has Thursday approved a buyback of about 5.70 crore shares at a rate of ₹190 per share aggregating to about ₹1,083 crore (excluding taxes). The buyback price of equity share is at 24 per cent premium on previous day close price at NSE.

The decision was taken by the company’s board of directors on Thursday at its meeting to consider buyback of the fully paid up equity shares of the company.

The board approved buyback of about 5.70 crore shares through tender offer representing 2.50 per cent of its paid-up capital and free reserves as on March 31, 2021, the gas transporting and marketing firm said in a statement.

“GAIL has been consistently rewarding its shareholders through regular dividends, issue of bonus shares and also buyback of shares at premium. During the current financial year, the company has paid the highest ever interim dividend amounting to ₹3,996 crore (at the rate of 90 per cent of the face value). The company had issued bonus shares in FY09, FY17, FY18 and FY20,” it added.

Further, the company has also completed buyback of its equity shares in March 2021 at 2.5 per cent of its net worth amounting to about ₹1,046 crore — about 6.97 crore shares at a rate of ₹150 per share, GAIL said.

Starting out in 1984 as a natural gas transmission firm with a single cross-country trunk pipeline, GAIL has now become the flagship natural gas company of India.

It is the largest integrated natural gas marketing and transmission company having its presence along the entire natural gas value chain comprising gas transmission and marketing, LPG transmission, gas processing, petrochemicals, LNG imports, exploration and production, and city gas distribution (CGD).

GAIL owns and operates around 13,840 km of natural gas pipeline network which is 74 per cent of the total length of the cross-country natural gas pipeline network in 28 States and Union Territories.

GAIL is the leading gas marketing company in India accounting for around 52 per cent of natural gas and 44 per cent of LNG sold in India.

The company supplies 67 per cent of gas consumed in the fertiliser sector, 53 per cent in power and 60 per cent in CGD in India. Its LNG portfolio is over 14 MTPA (million tonnes per annum).

The PSU has also embarked upon alternate energies like green hydrogen, renewables and bio-fuels projects which are of national importance and would likely provide a transition to the future.