Gunvor to acquire Petroplus Ingolstadt refinery in Germany

31 May 2012 10:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Gunvor has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the German refinery of insolvent Swiss refiner Petroplus, the global oil trading company said on Thursday.

The agreement will include the assets of the Ingolstadt refinery, which has a capacity of around 100,000 bbl/day, and related German marketing activities.

Gunvor intends to restart operations as soon as possible, following the refinery’s closure in early February as a result of Petroplus’s financial situation. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.

Petroplus filed for insolvency in January after lenders froze about $1bn (€810m) in credit lines in late December. The insolvency affected Petroplus’ five refineries in Europe, including the plant in Germany.

Gunvor said it is committed to operating the refinery on a long term basis and all existing employees, more than 400, will be retained.

The deal makes it the second refinery Gunvor has acquired from Petroplus this year. In March, the oil trader bought Petroplus’ Belgian refinery in Antwerp.

CEO of Gunvor, Torbjorn Tornqvist, said: “Just a few weeks after the successful reopening of the recently purchased Antwerp refinery, we are delighted to have signed a purchase agreement for what will be again a key asset for Gunvor as we look to confirm our presence in Europe and diversify our trading activity in Germany".

“This will be achieved with the proven integrated business model and the strong German wholesale and consumer marketing force,” he added.

Insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe said the company had achieved its goal to secure the survival of the refinery and all the jobs.

“With Gunvor as a strong partner, we believe we found a sustainable solution for the benefit of all parties. Also for the creditors in the insolvency proceedings we will most likely achieve a very good result,” he added.

Earlier in the week, Petroplus closed its refinery at Coryton, in Essex, the UK, after failing to find a buyer.

($1 = €0.81)

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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