The announcement was expected today but has now been shelved for the weekend.
rnFully owned by Ceylon Petroleum Corp, LMS has bonded warehouses at the Colombo port.
rnThe Public Enterprise Reform Commission (PERC) is expected to dispose LMS
quote s controlling stake, which can even go up to 90 percent.
rnrnAround 15 companies including top oil multinationals like Caltex and local conglomerate John Keells Holdings are expected pitch for the stake, which would effectively convert LMS to a private monopoly.
rnPresently, the private sector is involved in the industry as brokers for LMS and also operates barges to service ships anchored offshore.
rnPetroleum sector analysts value LMS at around US$ 50 mn or Rs. 5 bn based on future discounted earnings and likely premium a potential investor would pay to outbid others.
rnrnAt these valuations, LMS will be the second largest privatisation deal for the government after Sri Lanka Telecom, which was sold at US$ 225 mn in 1997 to NTT of Japan.