CORRECTED-Addax & Oryx abandons sale of trading ops
* Talks with private equity firm end without sale
* Assets on the market since last July
GENEVA/LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Geneva-based energy group Addax & Oryx Group said on Wednesday that it no longer plans to sell its African downstream operations following the collapse of negotiations with U.S. private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP).
Addax & Oryx (AOG) in February entered into exclusive talks with ECP for three months on the sale of its trading and downstream oil and gas storage assets.
AOG, which has been trying to sell the assets since July last year, said the decision to remove them from the market was taken "in view of the continued absence of guarantees to complete the transaction".
Most recently, sources said ECP had planed to pay $300-$400 million to buy AOG, in line with assessment last year that the assets might be worth $250 million to $500 million.
AOG declined to comment on the sales price discussed.
"AOG has always been comfortable with the possibility that it may decide not to sell this business if it did not find the right agreement," the company said in a statement.
"It also concluded that the uncertainty inherent in any continuation of the sales process was not in the best interests of the business."
In 2009 China's Sinopec Group bought the upstream African assets of Addax Petroleum in a $7.2 billion deal. This did not include the trading and storage assets.
One of the factors that may have limited the pool of buyers for the assets is that AOG is one of many trading companies owed money by Nigeria's state owned oil firm as part of a $3.5 billion fuel debt.
AOG has previously confirmed it is owed money by Nigeria, without specifying the amount, but on Wednesday denied that this played a role in the breakdown of talks with ECP.