The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) board has given in-principle approval for the firm to acquire the government’s 51.11 per cent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). Prior to the merger, HPCL plans to take over Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) to bring all the refining assets of ONGC under one unit. ONGC currently owns 71.63 per cent of MRPL while HPCL has a 16.96 per cent stake. The deal will be completed within a year. Post the acquisition, HPCL will become a subsidiary of ONGC and will remain a listed company. As per industry sources, ONGC will not have to make an open offer to HPCL’s minority shareholders as the government’s holding is being transferred to another state-run firm and the ownership is not changing. Meanwhile, JM Financial has been appointed as the transaction advisor to the stake sale.