wrote a letter to the Delhi electricity
regulator, saying it was ready to bid for the two units provided the entire bidding process was transparent. The Delhi government
owns the remaining 49 per cent stake in the two firms.
It was mutually agreed upon to close the engagement, given an emerging conflict of interest, said a banker close to the development. A KPMG
spokesperson declined to comment. A BSES
spokesperson, too, did not comment on the conflict of interest.
KPMG’s exit from the mandate means the entire process has to start afresh, led by RInfra.
Bankers said several prospective bidders from overseas decided to play safe, keeping in mind the pandemic.
“Besides, the Rs 16,000 crore in combined dues of both entities to electricity
also dampened the sale process,” said the banker.
There are over 4 million consumers in East and South Delhi, for which the two BSES firms have licence.
RInfra shares closed at Rs 17.45 on Monday, marking a sharp fall from the Rs 100 they were trading at a year ago.
Among prospective bidders, Tata Power
already owns an electricity distribution company in New Delhi, while CESC
supplies power to neighbouring Noida. Adani group supplies electricity in Mumbai, having taken over BSES Mumbai from RInfra in an Rs 18,000-crore transaction in 2017.
can retail electricity through its wholly-owned subsidiary NTPC
Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which has the highest category of power trading licence that allows it to enter into power purchase agreements.
NTPC has earlier made several attempts to get into the distribution business.
The firm sells around 1,500 Mw to BSES firms.
Both BSES firms are also litigating on whether inspection of their books falls under the jurisdiction of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The next date of hearing at the Supreme Court is not yet fixed, said bankers, adding that if a CAG audit
was granted by the court, then accounts since 2002 would be scrutinised on the basis of the exercise done by the CAG during 2014-15.
“This could lead to more litigation for the new owners,” said the banker.