Colony Reportedly Drops Bid for Tamoil

Libya Online- April 21 08

The Libyan government is seeking a "strategic partner” for Tamoil, its overseas oil refining and distribution company, after an attempt to sell the business to Colony Capital failed.

The Libyan Investment Authority, which manages the country’s assets abroad, "is in talks with possible partners,” National Oil Corp. Chairman Shokri Ghanem said in Rome, where he was attending the International Energy Forum.

Tamoil owns refineries in Germany, Italy and Switzerland and more than 3,000 filling stations in Europe.

Investment Authority Chairman Mohamed Layas said in March that Los Angeles-based Colony, run by Thomas Barrack, dropped a EUR 4 bn ($ 6.3 bn) bid for Tamoil. (Emphasis mine).  The US company hadn’t been given complete data on Tamoil’s assets, liabilities and taxes, people familiar with the matter said in November.

Tamoil’s ownership was transferred to the Investment Authority in February. National Oil previously held 70 % of Tamoil, and the remaining shares belonged to other Libyan state- owned companies.

The government in 2005 said it wanted to sell the business because managing it was "a burden".

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