Petroplus, the largest oil refinery company in Europe, whose major shareholder is the Portuguese tycoon Patrick Monteiro de Barros, has filed for bankruptcy.
The markets did not react with surprise given that the Swiss-based company had been in difficulties for some weeks.
During unsuccessful negotiations with creditors, Petroplus closed three refineries (in France, Germany and Switzerland) faced with the freezing of a €780 million line of credit. The company’s refinery at Petit Couronne, France, has also been put up for sale. “We worked very hard to avoid this outcome, but we couldn’t reach an agreement with our creditors to sort out our problems given the difficulties of the credit markets in Europe,” the company’s CEO, Jean-Paul Vettier, told Reuters.
The company has admitted that it has defaulted on around €1.3 billion relative to its financial obligations that it was unable to pay back.
Patrick Monteiro de Barros, the chief shareholder and president of Petroplus, has been actively spearheading a campaign to encourage the building of nuclear power stations in Portugal and Europe (see related story Portugal has to go nuclear, says Portuguese millionaire).
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