Videocon Industries to Sell Stakes in Brazil Oil Block; Not Fleeing India, Says Chairman
The debt-laden Videocon Industries Ltd is planning to raise nearly Rs 30,000 crore by selling its stakes in oil blocks in Brazil.
Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot has rubbished rumors doing the rounds on the social media that he may flee India.
“I am very much in India and have no intention to ever go out of the country, in fact, I am most comfortable here and have not stepped out of India since the last five years,” Dhoot said on March 8, the Economic Times reported.
The debt-laden Videocon Industries Ltd is planning to raise nearly Rs 30,000 crore by selling its stakes in oil blocks in Brazil to repay bank loans, Livemint.com reported.
“We will repay banks in the next 2-3 months by selling oil blocks in Brazil, we hope to raise around Rs 30,000 crore,” Dhoot said. He added that Videocon Hydrocarbon Holdings Ltd, the Cayman Islands firm owning the stakes, has received interests from some parties who are keen to strike a deal. Videocon’s oil assets in Brazil are estimated to be worth Rs 40,000 crore.
Videocon Industries has economic interests in oil and gas concessions in Brazil, Indonesia and East Timor through its subsidiaries and affiliates.
In January, the State Bank of India (SBI) referred Videocon Industries to bankruptcy court since lenders were not able to resolve loans by Dec. 31, 2017. The SBI had filed separate insolvency proceedings against Videocon Industries and Videocon Telecommunications Ltd.
The company’s total debt was Rs 19,506 crore as of March last year.
In 2015, Videocon Industries entered into an alliance with a Bharat Petroleum Corp unit (BPCL) to form a joint venture called IBV Brasil Petroleo in order to manage oil assets in Brazil. Videocon and the BPCL unit own 20 percent stake each, while Brazil’s Petrobras holds the remaining 60 per cent, according to ET.
“Oil and gas business has been a tremendous success for us. We are the largest and most successful Indian private sector explorer in the world today. Total reserves in the fields that we have discovered in Indonesia and Brazil, have around 4 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent. We are working towards getting those fields in production. We were in the phase of the development cycle of these projects,” Saurabh Dhoot, executive chairman of Videocon d2h had said earlier, according to Livemint.