Citgo's U.S. refineries sale takes another bidding round -sources

jueves 9 de octubre de 2014 15:49 GYT

By Mike Stone and Marianna Parraga

NEW YORK/HOUSTON Oct 9 (Reuters) - Investment bank Lazard Ltd has asked bidders that have shown interest in buying Citgo Petroleum Corp's U.S. refineries to submit an additional round of offers, people close to the deal told Reuters this week as the sale process proceeds despite doubts.

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA hired Lazard to handle the sale process for Citgo, its refining unit in the United States. An initial round of bids was tabled at the end of September with several companies showing interest, the sources said.

Representatives for Citgo and Lazard declined to comment. A representative for PDVSA was not immediately available to comment.

The people said there has been robust interest in the Citgo refining assets among HollyFrontier Corp, Valero Energy Corp, Western Refining Inc, Reliance Industries Ltd and PBF Energy Inc.

Representatives for Reliance, Western Refining, and HollyFrontier, were not immediately available for comment.

Representatives for Valero declined to comment, while a PBF Energy spokesman said that "parties to transactions (like this) sign confidentiality agreements."

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said two weeks ago in New York that his plan was to "keep strengthening" the investment made in Citgo. Some observers thought that suggested Maduro might halt the divestment, but the sale process has continued, the people said asking not to be named because the matter is private.

Companies that submitted an offer in the initial round of bidding had been called upon to present another, more detailed offer, one of the sources said.   Continuación...