PARIS -- A French court on Tuesday rejected the two bids
filed by companies offering to take over an oil refinery from bankrupt refiner
Petroplus and ordered the liquidation of the assets ending a
The Rouen court Tuesday ruled the two bids didn't ensure the
viability of the Petit-Couronne refinery, which is located on the
northern coast of France and employs 470 workers, a spokeswoman
The court considered Libya's Murzuk Oil and Dubai-based
NetOil as the only potential bidders left after months of
selection, but they didn't offer enough financial strength for
a project that requires heavy
investment, the French labor and industry ministers Michel
Sapin and Arnaud Montebourg said in a joint statement.
The court-appointed receiver will now seek a buyer for the
plant's assets and dismantle it if none is found.
The refinery was one of a series of industrial plants French
President Francois Hollande had promised to protect before
being elected in May 2012. The fate of the refinery has been debated since its
owner, Swiss-based Petroplus Holdings, filed for protection
from creditors in early 2012.
Petroplus, which operated five refineries in Europe, ran out
of cash in the first day of last year after struggling for
months in a market devastated by weak demand, overcapacity and
cheap competition from Asia and the Middle East.
Dow Jones Newswires