By KONSTANTIN ROZHNOV
LONDON -- The administrator of Petroplus Holdings UK
subsidiaries aims to reach a deal to sell the Coryton refinery
in England within 30 days, a joint administrator and partner at
PricewaterhouseCoopers said Tuesday.
PWC's Steven Pearson said that prospective buyers had
complied with the April 2 deadline to submit their bids for the
220,000 bpd refinery.
He refused to provide further details, saying it could
undermine the process.
"A couple of potential buyers and investors are now in the
due-diligence stage," said Unite trade union regional
industrial organizer Russ Ball.
Reaching the deal within 30 days is realistic, because the
involved parties are willing for it to happen, "but very
challenging," Pearson said.
"In a couple of weeks we'll know where we are," said
The administrator said last month that Coryton's book value
was $1.3 billion. David Epstein, sell-side credit analyst and
managing director at U.S.-based CRT Capital Group LLC, in
February estimated the ongoing business value of Coryton's
property, plant and equipment, excluding oil inventories and
liabilities, at around $625 million.
Before Petroplus lost access to all its credit lines and
then filed for insolvency in January, Coryton was supplying
around 10% of the UK's fuel market. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and
Valero Energy were among the refinery's main customers.
"Coryton is [now] running pretty close to [full] capacity,"
The administrator also said that striking a long-term deal,
rather than extending the tolling agreement with Morgan Stanley
Capital Group Inc., KKR Asset Management LLC, and AtlasInvest
beyond the initial period of three months, is the priority.
Under the tolling deal signed in mid-February, Morgan
Stanley, KKR and AtlasInvest deliver crude oil to Coryton and
receive refined products in return while paying a fee to cover
the administrators' costs.
Before the agreement was signed, the administrators were
keeping the refinery running by acquiring crude
oil cargoes on an ad hoc basis. But there were no guarantees a
new cargo would be found in time to avoid a shutdown.
Dow Jones Newswires