Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

REFINERY SALE A STEP CLOSER

Published

on

  • gb capitalLondon based investment firm tipped to purchase Murco plant
  • Greybull Capital tipped to buy the struggling refinery
  • Plant and retail petrol stations would continue operating

MURPHY OIL is in advanced talks to sell its Milford Haven refinery to a low-profile private equity fund that will continue operating the struggling plant, sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The American oil giant has been trying to sell the 135,000 barrels-per-day plant and its Murco petrol stations for around four years. But buyers who were willing to keep it running have proved elusive as European refineries fight for survival due to failing demand.

A deal is now moving closer with London-based Greybull Capital after it had agreed to fund a major planned maintenance at the plant within the next 18 months, sources said.

“There is a form of agreement pending finance,” said a source close to the negotiations.The maintenance turnaround at Milford Haven was expected to cost less than $75 million, the source said. The full cost of the deal was unclear.

The source said that a commitment to fund the turnaround was vital to prevent any buyer from running the plant for a short time before closing it down to sell assets, or demand a government bailout. Greybull has in the past focused on financing deals to buy struggling British high street chains such as the ultimately doomed electrical goods outlet Comet. It declined to comment on the Milford Haven discussions.Greybull would probably need to partner with either a commodity trading house or a bank with trading capabilities in order to secure the funding for the deal to keep the 450 employees in place.

“They are trying to raise the money in order to keep the work force in place,” an industry source said.

A spokeswoman for Murco, the Murphy Oil subsidiary that operates the refinery, confirmed talks for the sale of the refinery were coming closer to a conclusion.

“Discussions with regard to the sale of the Murco UK business by its U.S. parent, Murphy Oil Corporation, are ongoing and are at an advanced stage,” Emma Murphy said in an email.

Retail Outlets

Murco’s 400 petrol stations across the country would also be part of the deal.

“The buyers will purchase the Murco name and the supply system which will continue to supply the Murco petrol stations,” the industry source said.

Murco also operates three storage and distribution terminals in Britain which are supplied by rail from the refinery and handle around 2 million tonnes of oil product a year, according to the company’s website.

The Welsh plant, like other British and European refineries, has struggled in recent years due to weak demand in the region and in its U.S East Coast export market, as well as growing competition from U.S., Russian and Asian plants – factors which have hammered margins.

India’s Essar Energy said last month it will shutter one third of its production capacity at Britain’s second-largest oil refinery Stanlow.Last year the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland was brought to the brink of closure following a bitter industrial dispute, after owner Ineos said it needed to slash costs to keep it viable.

This followed the closure of the Coryton plant owned by bankrupt Petroplus which closed in 2012. Greybull is led by the brothers Nathaniel and Marc Meyohas, who operate from a small office in London’s Knightsbridge. The pair try to keep a low profile but shot to fame two years ago when they were involved in the Comet scandal.

Greybull was among the backers that had bankrolled a buyout of the electricals retailer by the former banker Henry Jackson, who sparked outrage when he pulled the plug on Comet just months later, triggering thousands of job losses.

The investment company has declined to comment on their plans over the Murco site. Councillor David Pugh, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy, Tourism, Communities and the Voluntary Sector, said: “We have been aware for some time that Murco is in advanced discussions with a potential purchaser. We are pleased to hear that these negotiations are now nearing completion and that the future of the Refinery is looking more secure.

He added: “Our officers, together with the Welsh Government’s Energy and Environmental team, are in regular contact with Murco and the company is aware of our support for them and whoever acquires the business.”

Who is behind Greybull Capital?

behind greybull

THE OFFICES of Greybull Capital are discreetly placed in the heart of London’s upmarket Knightsbridge.

These are the offices of the company reported to be behind the proposed purchase of the Murco’s operations in the UK, including petrol stations and crucially for Pembrokeshire the refinery at Milford Haven.

Behind tinted windows, brothers Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas have been behind the financing of takeovers of well-known troubled brands and High Street names, such as Game and most famously Comet. Last year the company was involved in the rescue and restructuring of Metaltrax, a West Midlands-based manufacturer of bakeware and kitchen accessories, saving a reported 387 jobs.

Greybull was closely involved in the investor group behind OpCapita’s purchase of troubled electrical retailer Comet. The withdrawal of support by a key American investor before Christmas 2012 caused Comet to collapse with the loss of 7,000 jobs at the retailer’s stores nationwide.

Before founding Greybull Capital, Marc Meyohas was the founder and CEO of Cityscape a leading provider of digital urban networks in the UK. Nathaniel Meyohas is no stranger to the petrochemical industry, having in the past been involved in arranging a shareholder loan of $40m to multinational company Manoir Industries.

Most recently Greybull Capital have acquired the British assets of plastic bottle maker Constar for a reported $8m.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Haverfordwest: Police appeal for information following high-value theft from Boots

Published

on

HAVERFORDWEST Police are appealing for any information following a high-value theft from Boots.

The theft occurred on Tuesday (Jul 7), anyone with information is asked to contact 101.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Continue Reading

News

Busy return to Welsh beaches for RNLI lifeguards as the charity urges parents to be beach safe

Published

on

RNLI LIFEGUARDS have had a busy return to service in Wales with two lives saved in the opening weeks. Now with further easing of Welsh Government restrictions this weekend, lifeguard teams are expecting the beaches of Wales to get busier again and are urging visitors to take responsibility for their safety.

On Whitesands beach in Pembrokeshire, a female body-boarder was pulled to safety by RNLI lifeguards after she was found separated from her board and struggling to stay above water. Lifeguards at Whitmore Bay saved the life of a swimmer who got into difficulty in the turbulent waters off Nells Point and on Langland Bay, Swansea, RNLI lifeguards have had a busy fortnight dealing with 16 major incidents, coming to the aid of 27 people.

With self-contained holiday accommodation expected to open in Wales from Saturday (11 July), the RNLI and HM Coastguard are today calling for anyone visiting the coast to take extra care and be beach safe this summer.

RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling on 26 beaches in Wales this weekend but lifeguards can’t be everywhere this summer, so the charity is urging beach-goers to be aware of the dangers at the coast, and to know what to do should they or a member of their family get into trouble.

If you can, please visit a life-guarded beach. But wherever you are;

  • Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
  • Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone
  • Don’t use inflatables
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
  • In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard
  • Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Wales, said: ‘We have now got RNLI lifeguards on far more beaches than we originally planned after the easing of lockdown rules. Our ability to do this has been helped by the regular dialogue between the RNLI and Welsh Government, the approach to easing restrictions and the caution and responsibility shown by the people of Wales.’

‘But our lifeguards still can’t be absolutely everywhere this summer.’

‘That’s why we are urging everyone to take extra care of themselves and their families whenever they are in or near the water.’

‘No one ever goes to the coast expecting to be rescued, yet RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crews rescue thousands of people each year. And the fact that we have been so busy already this summer shows us that some people are not taking these warnings seriously enough.

‘If you get into danger in the water, relax and float to give yourself time to recover before swimming to safety or calling for help. If you see someone else in danger, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard said: ‘We know from sad experience that whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability of experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does

‘We know how beautiful the coast is but it’s deadly if you get it wrong and your choices might put your family, friends and our frontline responders at risk as well as yourself.

‘Check tide times and remember the sea has currents and rip tides that can’t easily be seen. Look out for each other and if you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

‘Don’t make your trip to the coast memorable for all the wrong reasons.’

Continue Reading

News

Hospitality businesses gear up for post-lockdown season

Published

on

AS THE COUNTDOWN is on to hospitality reopening, over 40 pubs, cafes and restaurants from across Preseli joined Stephen Crabb in a digital discussion.

In a Zoom call hosted by Stephen Crabb MP, a number of pubs, cafes and restaurants took time away from getting ready to reopen to discuss how they can make best use of the season ahead of them, after a difficult few months due to lockdown.

Joining Crabb was local MS Paul Davies, representatives from Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and UK Hospitality, and an array of hospitality businesses from across the constituency including Martha’s Vineyard in Milford Haven, The Royal Oak in Fishguard and The Ferry Inn in St Dogmaels.

On Monday (Jul 13) hospitality businesses are able to reopen in Wales, following strict guidelines including outside only, 2m social distancing with pre-booking advised. Many establishments in Pembrokeshire without large outdoor spaces will be unable to open, but those who can are working hard to make it as enjoyable and safe for customers as possible and also commercially viable.

Only on Thursday evening, four days ahead of reopening, did Welsh Government publish guidance to help businesses reopening. This delayed support has left some hospitality businesses feeling left behind.

Speaking following the forum, Stephen Crabb said: “I’m delighted to have been able to bring together so many hospitality businesses in what was the largest digital business forum I’ve hosted. There has been huge interest from the sector and I’m really grateful to Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning, licencing and tourism team for joining the call, along with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and trade body UK Hospitality.

“There is a real sense of a ‘Team Pembrokeshire’ approach to the reopening of this important sector, with businesses happy to share ideas and good practice to ensure the local visitor economy opens safely and successfully.”

“All the signs are pointing to a ‘staycation’ boom for British tourism this summer and there is potentially a real prize waiting for Pembrokeshire businesses. But there is a lot of work to be done in the next few days to adapt to new ways of working and it is essential for Welsh Government to issue detailed guidance.”

Paul Davies MS said: “Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses are the backbone of our local economy and so it was extremely useful to hear more about the challenges they’re facing and how Governments at all levels can do more to support them. The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to have an impact on the industry for the foreseeable future and whilst businesses have worked extremely hard to adapt their business models, the fact remains that if further support isn’t forthcoming, then many hospitality businesses simply won’t survive. I will of course, do everything in my power to challenge the Welsh Government on its lack of support for the sector and encourage Ministers to use the levers at their disposal, to better support the sector before it’s too late.”

Continue Reading
News2 days ago

Busy return to Welsh beaches for RNLI lifeguards as the charity urges parents to be beach safe

RNLI LIFEGUARDS have had a busy return to service in Wales with two lives saved in the opening weeks. Now...

News3 days ago

Eight cows shot dead in ‘serious incident’ at Castlemartin Firing Range

EIGHT cattle have been killed and four have been injured after an accident at Castlemartin Firing Range. The incident earlier...

News3 days ago

Dyfed-Powys issues more than 1,700 fines during lockdown

DYFED-POWYS POLICE issued more than 1,700 fines during the lockdown period, the force has announced. Between March 27, when fixed...

News3 days ago

Fifteen Pembrokeshire projects to share £221,000

PROJECTS across Pembrokeshire are to receive a cash boost after the latest round of funding generated from a premium on...

News4 days ago

Herald refreshes look after lockdown

THIS WEEK, to mark our seventh anniversary, we’ve made some big changes to The Pembrokeshire Herald. Apart from it being...

News4 days ago

Education Minister announces ‘back to school’ plans for September

DECISION backed with £29 million to recruit, recover and raise standards The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has today confirmed that...

News4 days ago

Self-employed urged to apply for grant if they’ve lost income due to Covid-19

APPROXIMATELY 2,400 self-employed people in Pembrokeshire whose business has lost income due to coronavirus have not yet claimed a government...

News5 days ago

Chancellor’s economic update includes VAT cut for hospitality sector, and customer discounts

THE CHANCELLOR, Rishi Sunak, set out the measures in his summer economic update in the House of Commons on Wednesday...

News5 days ago

Haverfordwest: Police investigation after cash stolen at Aldi supermarket

POLICE in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after cash was stolen from the town’s Aldi supermarket. At around 1pm on...

News6 days ago

‘Amazing Dad’ walks 45 miles in memory of daughter

A LOCAL Fishguard man, Mervyn Hawkins, walked an astounding 45 miles in memory of his daughter, Ellie Butler, who sadly...

Popular This Week