CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Total, Glencore and Gunvor are bidding for a 75 percent stake in Chevron’s South African downstream assets, which include a refinery, three industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
U.S. oil major Chevron said in January it planned to sell 75 percent of its South African business unit, which includes a 110,000-barrels-a-day refinery in Cape Town.
The second bidding round in which actual offers were made closed on Sept. 30, the sources said, with a selling price estimated at $1 billion expected for the assets in South Africa as well as neighbouring Botswana.
“Total, Glencore and Gunvor have bid for the assets,” said one industry source close to the matter.
A second source with knowledge of the transaction said: “These companies comprise the front-runners for the bid. We might possibly get a (preferred bidder) decision by the first quarter of next year.”
French oil major Total, crude oil trader Gunvor and Glencore, a mining and trading company, declined to comment.
Chevron spokesman Braden Reddall said in an emailed response that the bidding process was continuing and “as a matter of policy, we do not disclose details of commercial activities”.
Financial advisor Rothschild & Co is helping Chevron on the sale, which has also seen interest from Sasol, the world’s largest gas-to-fuel producer, which said in July it was considering buying the majority stake.
Chevron is a leading refiner and marketer of petroleum products in South Africa, the most industrialised country in Africa, where it has had a presence for more than a century.
Besides the Cape Town refinery, Chevron also has interests in a lubricants plant in Durban on the east coast. Its network of Caltex service stations makes it one of South Africa’s top five petroleum brands, according to its website.
(Editing by James Macharia and Dale Hudson)