Glencore said to mull bid for Chevron's South Africa assets

Johannesburg - Glencore [JSE:GLN] is among companies considering bidding for Chevron's South African assets after a proposed sale to China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation 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 $900m (approximately R11.7bn at the time) for Chevron’s 75% stake in the assets, which include Chevron’s oil refinery in Cape Town and its network of petrol stations.

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 spokesperson said the company doesn’t comment on market speculation, while a Chevron spokesperson declined to comment citing a confidentiality agreement covering the sales process. Representatives from BEE partners African Legend Investments and Lithemba Investments, meanwhile, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Expansion 

China Petroleum, known as Sinopec, had agreed to buy Chevron’s holding in the South African assets as part of its 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 petrol stations in South Africa and Botswana.

Sinopec representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, French oil major Total SA, and Swiss commodity trader Gunvor had previously expressed interest in the operations, people familiar with the matter said in December.


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