Klesch Group makes offer to acquire Petroplus’s French refinery

15 March 2012 20:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Klesch Group has made an offer to acquire the 161,800 bbl/day French refinery of insolvent European refiner Petroplus for an undisclosed sum, a spokesman for the Switzerland-based industrial and trading group said on Thursday.

Under the offer, Klesch would invest about €160m ($208m) to return the refinery to profitability at Petit Couronne near Rouen in northwest France, the spokesman told ICIS.

Klesch would continue to employ most of the refinery’s staff, he added. He would not confirm numbers cited in the French press that 410 of the refinery’s 550 jobs would be saved.

The Petit Couronne refinery, one of five refineries in Europe affected by Petroplus's insolvencywas shut down in January.

However, Shell agreed last month to help with its restart and to supply it with crude oil for a limited time. Shell sold the refinery to Petroplus in 2008.

The Petit Couronne refinery supplies a number of downstream customers in the chemical industry, including French plants of US-based lubricants additives major Lubrizol.

Last year, Klesch agreed to acquire the vinyls products business of French chemicals producer Arkema. That deal has yet to be completed, the spokesman said.

In 2010, Klesch acquired Shell's Heide refinery near Hamburg, Germany.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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