Three firms vie for BP’s China petrochemicals JV in a deal valued at over $2b

At least three leading chemical companies are set to vie for BP’s stake in Chinese petrochemicals joint venture SECCO which could fetch more than $2 billion, sources close to the process said.

Offers for the 50 percent stake, the British oil and gas company’s largest investment in China, will be submitted in the coming days, the sources said.

SK Chemicals Co Ltd, a pharmaceutical unit of South Korea’s SK Group; Austrian plastics group Borealis , owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund IPIC and oil and gas company OMV ; and privately-owned Switzerland-based chemicals company Ineos are set to bid for the asset, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information isn’t public.

At least one other company is considering entering the bidding round.

BP’s partner in the joint venture, state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), has a right of first refusal. It has said it is discussing the conditions put forward by BP, but has made no decision.

BP and the three potential bidders declined to comment or were not immediately available to comment.

SECCO, a venture formed in 2001, produces ethylene and propylene, which are used to make resins, plastics and synthetic rubbers.

BP, like other of the world’s top oil companies, is in the midst of a divestment drive in order to focus its business and boost cash flow in the wake of the halving of oil prices since mid-2014. It is planning sales worth $3-$5 billion this year.

The company has sold more than $50 billion of assets since a deadly explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

BP has sold several assets to Ineos in recent years, including the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland as part of a $9 billion sale of the olefins and refining business Innovene in 2005.

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Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.