Petroplus seeks to expand into US with US$2 billion joint venture

27th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Petroplus Holdings AG said Wednesday it has teamed up with two private equity companies for a US$2 billion-venture aimed at expanding into the US market.

27 February 2008

ZUG, Switzerland - Petroplus Holdings AG said Wednesday it has teamed up with two private equity companies for a US$2 billion-venture aimed at expanding into the US market.

The Swiss-based company refining company said it will join Blackstone Group and First Reserve in investing US$667 million each into a joint venture, to be known as PBF.

"This initiative opens up a new geographic area of growth for Petroplus," the company said in a statement.

Petroplus's incoming chief executive Robert Lavinia said the company would continue to focus on Europe, but was also eager to open up another avenue of growth.

Petroplus has refineries at Ingolstadt, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Cressier, Switzerland; and Coryton and Teesside in Britain.

Petroplus shares were down 0.3 percent at CHF77.85 Swiss francs on the Zurich exchange.

Oil prices rose to a new intraday high above US$102 a barrel Wednesday as a slide by the US dollar prompted investors to pump more money into energy futures as a hedge against inflation.

[Copyright ap 2008]

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