London — Finland's Neste is selling its 49.99% stake in bitumen and specialist oil refiner Nynas to Dubai-based company Bitumina, it said Sept 16, amid a reorganization intended to avert a financial crisis at Nynas resulting from its links with Venezuela and reliance on Venezuelan crude.
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Stockholm-based Nynas owns three refineries in its own right, Nynashamn and Gothenburg in Sweden, and Harburg in Germany, and 50% of the Eastham refinery, the UK's largest supplier of bitumen, alongside Shell.
The company had been forced into a court-supervised reorganization, including a reduction in the 50% stake of Venezuela's PDVSA to 15% in May, as it had built up debts in part because US sanctions prevented it using Venezuela's heavy crude oil.
PDVSA's divested 35% stake has been transferred to an independent Swedish foundation, with a court decision on the reorganization expected Sept. 17.
Bitumina is already present in Scandinavia through its Danish subsidiary Denimotech, a supplier of bitumen processing and refining equipment.
In a statement from Neste, Bitumina chairman Bernd Schmidt said: "We take great pride in having been able to acquire the shares of Neste in Nynas which is a natural expansion in our global industrial bitumen portfolio. We are certain that we can contribute to the successful future of Nynas."
Nynas itself said: "The ownership change announced today is an important step in the ongoing company reorganization of Nynas. To successfully complete the reorganization, discussions continue with Nynas' main creditors."
Terms of the deal were not released.