x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

OMV to sell stake in German refinery

The Austrian oil producer part-owned by Abu Dhabi, agrees to sell its 45 per cent stake in Bayernoil.

OMV, the Austrian oil producer part-owned by Abu Dhabi, has agreed to sell its 45 per cent stake in Bayernoil, a German refinery group.

The disposal is part of OMV’s strategy to divest its downstream assets.

The company said it had agreed with the buyer – Varo Energy, a joint venture of the Swiss oil trading house Vitol and the private equity firm Carlyle – not to disclose the sale price.

OMV in January agreed to sell its LMG stockholding business to its ELG unit for a one-off pretax gain of €440 million (Dh2.21 billion). OMV’s finance chief has said the Bayernoil deal would not be as big as that transaction.

OMV said it expected the Bayernoil deal to close next year, subject to the non-exercise or waiver of pre-emption rights by the existing co-shareholders, and merger clearance.

The Bayernoil sale completes OMV’s plans to reduce annual refinery capacity by 4.6 million tonnes to 17.4 million tonnes.

“This transaction represents the biggest step in the defined divestment programme targeting proceeds of €1bn by the end of 2014 and clearly underpins our capability to deliver on our strategic priorities,” said Manfred Leitner, OMV’s head of refining and marketing.

OMV will continue to operate three refineries in Schwechat, Austria; Burghausen, Germany; and Petrobrazi, Romania.

“The filling station business in Germany remains an important business area for OMV. Therefore, the transaction with Varo Energy contains contractual arrangements for the future supply of the OMV retail stations in Germany,” it said.

The Bayernoil sale is the latest in a flurry of deals involving OMV in recent months. It also said this week it had agreed to start exploration in Gabon as it increases its footprint in Africa.

Earlier this year OMV also bought into offshore Madagascar. It said in September it would take a 40 per cent stake in a block called Grand Prix from Canada’s Niko Resources for an undisclosed sum.

* With Reuters