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Sinopec commits to R6bn in investments if it wins Chevron SA bid

Jan 11 2018 19:05

Cape Town - Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel on Thursday said that Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec had committed to invest some R6bn in South Africa if it succeeds in acquiring the assets of Chevron South Africa. 

Sinopec is competing with Glencore for the assets, which include a 75% stake in a 100 000 barrel a day oil refinery in Cape Town, some 850 petrol stations and a lubricant blending plant in Durban. 

A consortium of black economic empowerment (BEE) shareholders and an employee trust hold the remaining 25% interest in the group. 

In a media statement, Patel said the SA government had reached an agreement on public interest issues regarding Chevron SA’s potential acquisition by Sinopec. 

These include, in addition to the R6bn capital investment, a commitment to increase the level of BEE ownership in the local company from 25% to 29%, a pledge that no jobs would be lost and a R200m development fund. 

But the Competition Tribunal, and not the SA state, will have the final say on the deal.  

"Government will not choose to whom Chevron sells control of Chevron South Africa, but we will ensure that proper public interest conditions, in line with the Competition Act, should apply to whoever is the successful bidder," Patel said.

He noted that, if the Sinopec transaction is approved and implemented, it would be the single largest acquisition by a Chinese firm of control of a South African-based company.

A final decision by the Competition Tribunal is expected in the first half of 2018.

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