Seven companies including Royal Dutch/Shell, BP Amoco, Reliance Industries and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation were left in the fray for acquiring government stake in oil PSU Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd after bidders were shortlisted on Thursday.
The Inter-Ministerial Group on HPCL shortlisted eight firms meeting the networth, turnover and profitability criteria, out of the 10 companies which put in initial bids on March 17, highly placed government sources said in New Delhi.
Others who were shortlisted on Thursday include Essar Group of companies, Saudi Aramco and Chevron Texaco of US, sources said.
HSBC Securities, the government's divestment advisor has set a 28 weeks time-table for completion of the sale.
Data-room for the shortlisted bidders would be opened in one month's time after they sign confidentiality agreement.
Besides, legal, financial and technical advisors would also be appointed shortly to list assets and liabilities of the companies - essential to fix reserve price and assess the networth of the company, sources said.