Employees walk past an Essar Group logo outside their headquarters in Mumbai May 20, 2013. Reuters/Vivek Prakash

After a consortium led by Russia’s state-controlled oil giant Rosneft bought a 98% stake in India’s second biggest private oil firm Essar Oil for US$13 billion, the focus is now on how much the minority shareholders, who control the remaining 2%, stand to gain after the company is delisted.

According to financial daily newspaper Mint, when the minority shareholders tendered their shares in Essar Oil’s delisting process in December, the market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, ruled that they should be paid the difference between the transaction price with Rosneft and the final delisting price.

Essar Group director Prashant Ruia said on Saturday the equity value of the deal was so near the delisting price that minority shareholders would not gain much. However, proxy advisory firms have projected that small shareholders stand to gain anything from Rs 94 to Rs 125 (US$1.41 — US$1.87) a share, on top of the delisting price of Rs 262 a share.

The US$13 billion deal is the largest recorded inflow of foreign direct investment to India. While Rosneft bought a 49% stake in Essar Oil’s refinery, port and petrol pumps, its partners Netherlands-based Trafigura Group Pte and Russian investment fund United Capital Partners split another 49% equally.

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