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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Acquisition bid for French supplier CDH

23 Nov 2009 12:11 GMT

New ownership on the cards as Reliance Industries offers to acquire LyondellBasell.



French bunker supplier Compagnie de Distribution des Hydrocarbures (CDH) could soon be under new ownership following news that the company's current owner LyondellBasell has received an offer from India's Reliance Industries Limited for a majority interest in the firm.

In a statement, Netherlands-based LyondellBasell said "LyondellBasell has received a preliminary non-binding offer from Reliance Industries Limited to acquire for cash a controlling interest in the company contemporaneously with the company's emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization.

"This offer is in addition to the previous non-binding equity financing proposals received by the company and represents a potential alternative to the initial plan of reorganization previously filed by the company. Consistent with its fiduciary duties, management will continue to work with all parties to design an approach that maximizes value for the company's creditors through the pursuit of a confirmable plan of reorganization and enhances the financial strength of the reorganized company."

LyondellBasell reported an operating loss of $5.9 billion for the year ended December 2008. Despite the fact that the company’s operations generated over $1 billion cash during the year, it had debts worth $22.9 billion payable within the year 2009, which forced it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2009.

The Financial Times has today cited an unnamed person close to Reliance as saying that it plans to pay $10 billion for the stake. Meanwhile, The Times of India, citing an unidentified banker, said yesterday the price may be at least $12 billion.

LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. The company is a global leader in polyolefins technology, a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives and a significant producer of fuels and refined products, including biofuels.

The company took over ownership of the Berre-l'Etang refinery [pictured] site from Société des Pétroles Shell (Shell) after reaching an agreement to buy the complex for $700 million in August 2007.

Compagnie de Distribution des Hydrocarbures (CDH) commenced the sale of marine fuel from the Berre site in April 2008. The company specializes in the sale of 380-centistoke (cst) bunker fuel (low and high Sulphur) and DMA marine gasoil (MGO).

Deliveries are carried out using the time chartered barge FS Camille. The 2006-built vessel has a heavy fuel oil (HFO) capacity of 3262 cubic metres (cbm) and an MGO capacity of 842 cbm. Its pumping capacity (2 pumps) is 400 cbm/hour.

CDH claims to sell between 200,000 and 300,0000 metric tonnes per year of 380-cst. Amongst its portfolio of customers, CDH says it is the exclusive supplier for SNCM ferries.

[Pictured: Berre-l'Etang refinery]






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