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Milford Haven refinery sale confirmed

31 July, 2014

The sale of Murco’s Milford Haven refinery has been confirmed and a deal on its petrol station network is at an advanced stage.

Murphy Oil Corporation announced today (July 31) that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Murco Petroleum has signed an agreement to sell its Milford Haven refinery and terminal assets to Klesch Refinery. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

It added that a separate transaction for the sale of Murco’s UK retail business is at an advanced stage, and the company will provide a further update on this in due course.

Klesch said in a statement: “We look forward to using our considerable industry expertise to return the site to profitable growth. By taking a long-term investment view we aim to secure the future of this refinery for its employees and the broader community.”

Murphy Oil announced more than three years ago that it intended to sell its UK business comprising the Murco filling stations and the oil refinery.

Murphy halted production at Milford Haven in May after a potential deal with London-based private equity fund Grey Bull broke down.

Although it has not been confirmed, the owner of Top 50 Indie Motor Fuels Group (MFG) is believed to be in talks to buy the 228 filling stations owned by Murco.

Private equity group Patron Capital, which bought MFG in 2012 and a further portfolio of 54 Murco filling stations last year, is in negotiations over a deal worth around £200m.

In January 2012 Patron Capital Partners teamed up with Aberdeen oil tycoon Alasdair Locke and paid £40m for MFG, then one of the largest independent petrol station groups in the UK, and currently ranked fourth in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies.

At the time of the deal for MFG, Locke said his plan was to build a portfolio of 200 petrol stations across the UK.

And in August last year the two parties teamed up again to buy a portfolio of 54 Murco petrol stations in a deal worth more than £50m.

The identity of the seller was not revealed but sources within the industry suggested that the portfolio was the remainder of the 63 Petrol Express sites that were sold by GNE Group in 2008 to a consortium also led by Locke in a deal valued at £52m.

Locke sold his Aberdeen-based Abbot Group to US private equity firm First Reserve in 2007 in a deal worth £900m.





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