Shell reduces stake in Mahanagar Gas to 24% from 32.5%; stock drops 3%

BG Asia Pacific Holdings (BGAPH), a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell, reduced its shareholding in Mahanagar Gas from 32.5% to 24%, the oil company said in its statement on Wednesday.

“This is part of Shell’s ongoing portfolio optimisation to transform Shell into a simpler company, delivering stronger returns,” Shell said in its media statement.

In a separate statement sent to the exchanges, state-run Mahanagar Gas said, “Mahanagar Gas would like to state that, since this is the prerogative of Promoters, MGL has nothing to comment."

Mahangar Gas added business will continue as usual even post changes in Shell’s shareholding. “Mahanagar Gas is abreast with the latest technologies as applicable to its areas of operations and is a self-reliant, financially sound company." 

In fact, there was an indirect change in holding of one promoter, when in February 2016, Royal Dutch Shell acquired BG (British Gas) worldwide. The business did & will continue as normal, irrespective of any change in shareholding.” 

Mahanagar Gas further stated: “Mahanagar is an independent Board managed company with proven track record in City Gas Distribution (CGD) business. Day to day decisions are taken by Apex Executive Committee. Except one whole time Director each from GAIL & BG (Shell), all other members of Apex Executive Committee are company executives with long experience in CGD industry.” GAIL (India) holds 32.5% stake in Mahangar Gas.

Shell, in its statement, further added this announcement has no impact on other Shell businesses in India. “We believe in the key role that gas will play in India in the near future and continue to seek opportunities in that arena. Our investment in the Hazira Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) receiving terminal in Gujarat and the recent creation of Shell Energy India, our commitment to grow in India and to increase gas penetration in the country,” the company said in its statement. 

On Thursday, the stock of Mahanagar Gas closed 3% lower on BSE at Rs 917.