Petroplus’ lenders freeze $1bn in credit lines, shares plummet

27 December 2011 14:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Petroplus’ lenders have frozen about $1bn (€770m) in uncommitted credit lines under a revolving credit facility, the Switzerland-based independent refiner said on Tuesday.

“These lines are critical to allow the company's operating units to meet their obligations when due,” Petroplus said in a statement.

Petroplus’ shares were down 41% to Swiss francs (Swfr) 2.01 on Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange at 14:19 Swiss local time.

Petroplus said it intends to continue negotiations with its banks to achieve "a prompt restoration of the credit lines."

At the same time, the company is looking at “additional strategic options” to maintain operations in its European refining and marketing system, it said without providing details.

Industry commentators said the credit freeze would impact Petroplus’ ability to buy crude oil.

Petroplus owns and operates five refineries across Europe: Coryton in the UK; Antwerp in Belgium; Petit Couronne in France; Ingolstadt in Germany; and Cressier in Switzerland.

Petroplus' refineries have a combined throughput capacity of about 667,000 bbl/day.

For the nine months ended 30 September 2011, Petroplus reported a net loss of $413m, compared with a net loss of $250m in the same period in 2010.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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