Glencore. Picture: REUTERS
Glencore. Picture: REUTERS

Glencore is among companies considering bidding for Chevron’s South African assets, after a proposed sale to China Petroleum and Chemical Corp stalled when local partners said they would exercise a pre-emptive right, according to two people familiar with the matter.

China Petroleum said in March it agreed to pay $900m for Chevron’s 75% stake in the assets, which include Chevron’s oil refinery in Cape Town and network of retail petrol outlets.

The action by Chevron’s black economic empowerment partners, who own the remaining 25% of the assets, has re-opened the sales process, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information was not public. There was at least one other potential bidder in addition to Glencore, the people said.

A Glencore spokesperson said the company did not comment on market speculation and a Chevron spokesperson declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement covering the sales process. Representatives from BEE partners African Legend Investments and Lithemba Investments could not 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 petrol stations in SA 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 and Swiss commodity trader Gunvor Group had previously expressed interest in the operations, people familiar with the matter said in December.


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