Jubilant Energy, an Indian oil exploring firm owned by the family of Hindustan Times vice-chairperson Shobhana Bhartia, is preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange in one of the largest new Indian listings.
The company has reportedly hired JP Morgan Cazenove to advice it on the listing. Bankers expect to value Jubilant at more than 750 million pounds. The listing is expected to cement the fortune of brothers Hari and Shyam Bhartia as well as Shyam's wife Shobhana.
According to a report in The Independent on Sunday, the Bhartia brothers' empire is built around Jubilant Organ-osys, a listed pharmaceuticals and chemicals group. Their holding company, Jubilant Corp, also owns the Domino's Pizza franchise for Southeast Asia, a supermarket chain, the sole Audi dealership in south India, and also represents Bell Helicopters in India.
Much of Jubilant Energy's value comes from its 15 per cent share in the gas discovery made by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) in the Krishna-Godavari Basin in the Bay of Bengal.
The Gujarat government claims GSPC's field may hold reserves of 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, which would make it the largest gas discovery yet in India. The country's directorate general of hydrocarbons puts the figure closer to five trillion.
Jubilant also operates the 21 million barrel Kharsang oil field in Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India, has further stakes in exploration blocks in the Krishna-Godavari basin and elsewhere in India, and holds exploration licences in Australia.
The company is aiming to list on the Professional Securities Market on the London Stock Exchange and will use the proceeds to fund Jubilant Energy's growth. It is keen to come to market within months but may wait until the result of the auction of GSPC's stake is announced, establishing the field's value.