OMV AG (OMV), central Europe’s biggest oil company, may sell its stake in the Bayernoil Raffinerie GmbH joint venture as part of a plan to dispose of 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of refining and marketing assets by 2014.
“The possible sale of the 45 percent stake in the Bayernoil refinery network will be evaluated,” the Vienna-based company said today in a statement. “This would involve a reduction in the annual refining capacity by 4.6 million tons to 17.7 million tons.”
European refineries are being shut down or sold off as slow growth erodes fuel demand. OMV in September announced plans to sell refining units and filling stations to focus on exploration and production, which offers higher margins and is expected to account for 55 percent of the company’s total assets by 2021.
The other shareholders of Bayernoil are Ruhr Oel GmbH, which has 25 percent, Agip Ltd.’s German unit with 20 percent and BP Plc with a 10 percent stake.
The Austrian producer sold its 52 percent stake in Cypriot retail company Kibris in November and last month put its Croatian and Bosnian filling stations up for sale.
OMV also said today that it hired Deutsche Bank AG to handle the structuring and implementation of its divestment program, including negotiations with would-be buyers.
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