Petroplus Files for Insolvency
Swiss-based Petroplus Holdings, Europe's largest independent oil refiner, said Tuesday that it was filing for insolvency after failing to reach an agreement with its lenders on its $1.75 billion credit line.
Petroplus said the lenders had filed notices of acceleration, effectively placing the company in default, and appointed a receiver for the Swiss company's U.K. assets.
It is preparing to file for insolvency in Switzerland and other countries where it has subsidiaries. The company has refineries in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and England.
Petroplus, which reported a net loss of $413 million in the first nine months of last year, said last week it had decided to sell the facility in France and might do same with the Swiss and Belgian sites.
"We have worked hard to avoid this outcome, but were ultimately not able to come to an agreement with our lenders to resolve these issues given the very tight and difficult European credit and refining markets," chief executive Jean-Paul Vettier said in a statement from company headquarters in Zug, Switzerland.
Trading in the Petroplus shares had been suspended on Monday. On Tuesday, they plummeted 84.4 percent to 0.23 Swiss francs.
The company's troubles already have forced a halt to production at the Cressier refinery in northwest Switzerland, but that has not caused any disruption to the nation's fuel supplies.