Glencore Plc. is among companies considering bidding for Chevron Corp.’s South African assets after a proposed sale to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. stalled when local partners said they will exercise a preemptive right, according to two people familiar with the matter.
China Petroleum said in March it agreed to pay $900 million for Chevron’s 75 percent stake in the assets, which include Chevron’s oil refinery in Cape Town and network of retail-gas outlets.
The action by Chevron’s black economic empowerment partners, who own the remaining 25 percent of the assets, has re-opened the sales process, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. There’s at least one other potential bidder in addition to Glencore, the people said.
A Glencore spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on market speculation and a Chevron spokesman declined to comment citing a confidentiality agreement covering the sales process. Representatives from BEE partners African Legend Investments and Lithemba Investments, couldn’t be reached for comment.
China Petroleum, known as Sinopec, agreed to buy Chevron’s holding in the South African assets as part of a plan to expand in international markets. The business includes the 100,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants-manufacturing facility in Durban and a network of more than 800 gas stations in South Africa and Botswana.
Sinopec representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The Cape Messenger reported earlier that the deal with Chevron could unravel.
Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, French oil major Total SA and Swiss commodity trader Gunvor Group Ltd. had previously expressed interest in the operations, people familiar with the matter said in December.
Report courtesy Bloomberg
Frontpage January 16, 2019