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Thai PTT to sell 15% stake in oil refiner Bangchak to state fund

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PTT PCL, Thailand's largest energy firm, said on Tuesday its board had agreed to sell its 15 per cent stake in oil refiner Bangchak Petroleum PCL to a state investment fund Vayupak.

[BANGKOK] PTT PCL, Thailand's largest energy firm, said on Tuesday its board had agreed to sell its 15 per cent stake in oil refiner Bangchak Petroleum PCL to a state investment fund Vayupak.

The sale is part of PTT's plan to sell all of its 27.22 per cent in the oil refiner as the energy giant wants to reduce criticism from political lobby groups, which say PTT has a monopoly.

The deal is expected to be worth at least 10 billion baht (US$306 million), PTT Chief Executive Pailin Chuchottaworn told reporters.

State-controlled PTT, which has interests in five of six oil refineries in Thailand, planned to sell the rest 12.22 per cent stake to any interested investors, Mr Pailin said.

"PTT is open to talk with any investors who offer the best proposal. We don't limit ourselves to two investors which previously offered the prices," Mr Pailan said, adding that he expected to conclude the deal within the first quarter of this year.

The two investors were Mermaid Meritime Co, controlled by Thai businessman Prayudh Mahagitsiri, and MBO group, set up by Bangchak's executives and employees, he said.

PTT has said oil retailers SUSCO PCL and PTG Energy PCL, were keen to buy the stake.

Bangchak runs a 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery and operates more than 1,000 service stations and a solar farm business.

REUTERS