All employees of State-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) who have worked for the company for at least 5 years, numbering around 10,000, will be offered ESOPs under a new scheme, sources report. This is looked as a step by the company towards rewarding its employees ahead of its privitization by providing them stock options at one-third of the market price.
They board of directors of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Friday decided to offer 2 per cent stake in the company to employees through Employee Stock Options (ESOPs), pending approval by shareholders in the company’s annual general meeting.
A source has said ‘BPCL Trust for Investment in Shares’ holds around 9.33 percent stake of the company’s paid up share capital’ although BPCL has official denied any information regarding the same. Of this, 2 per cent will be offered to employees at one-third the price of BPCL scrip in the preceeding six months, he said.
However, there will be no change in government’s shareholding in the company. The government is reported to sell all of its 52.98 percent stake in BPCL to a strategic investor. Expression of Interest (EoI) for the privitisation is scheduled September 30.
“The trust formed for the purpose shall purchase the aforesaid shares from the ‘BPCL Trust for Investment in Shares’ by way of secondary acquisition through the stock exchanges as per the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefits) Regulations, 2014 and other applicable laws,” the company said in the regulatory filing.
The number of shares offered under the ESPs is said to be determined based on the grade of the employee and even directors on the company board would be eligible for the offer. A one–year lock-in period for the shares that employees buy under ESPS, some sources say.
“The employees will be offered the shares at a two-thirds discount from the average share price for the preceding six months from the date of the annual general meeting,” said a source.