In Saudi Arabia, two thirds of the Alhamrani-Fuchs Petroleum joint venture may be put up for sale by the family-owned Alhamrani Group - an automotive, financial and construction conglomerate.
Although neither organisation was prepared to comment, it would appear that the Saudi organisation is looking to offload its majority share for between $400-500m, with interest in the sale largely coming from Middle Eastern finance groups. A deal may be imminent, although Fuchs retains the right of veto on any prospective purchaser.
The joint venture was formed in 1995 to operate a 95,000 metric tonne lubes blending plant in Yanbu, supplying 30% of Saudi's domestic well as exporting to other countries in the region. It is the largest plant of its kind in the Middle East and Africa.
Meanwhile Fuchs is set to spend $5.5m on its Australian operations as part of its global investment programme. Much of the money will go towards expansion of its Melbourne facility to add a new Lubricant Laboratory and Technical Centre. This will boost the technical capability of the site for regional lubes formulation and marketing.
Part of the funding will also be invested in a major redevelopment of Fuchs' manufacturing operation in Newcastle, north of Sydney.
Published 11th June, 2012
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