France says has received two "serious" bids for refinery

PARIS Tue Feb 5, 2013 1:06pm EST

PARIS Feb 5 (Reuters) - France's Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said France had received two "serious" bids for the takeover of its troubled Petroplus refinery amid a total of five firm offers.

Bidders for the former Petit-Couronne oil refinery of the insolvent Swiss refiner had until the end of Tuesday to submit offers to legal administrators and avert a liquidation which the French government has been hoping to prevent.

The two bidders described as "serious" were Switzerland's investor group Terrae and Egypt's energy company Arabiyya Lel Istithmaraat.

When contacted by Reuters a spokesman for Arabiyya Lel Istithmaraat was not immediately able to comment. (Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Michel Rose and Marwa Awad)

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