(Recasts with Total comment)
PARIS, April 28 French oil major Total
has not put its liquefied petroleum gas unit Totalgaz up for
sale at this stage, it said on Monday, after daily Les Echos
said the group had received around 10 expressions of interest
from potential buyers.
Investment funds such as First Reserve, Platinum, Pamplona
and PAI Partners were said to be among the bidders, in addition
to industry rivals like Antargaz and Primagaz, Les Echos
reported, without saying where it got the information.
"There is no sale process of Totalgaz at the moment," a
spokesman said, adding that options for the unit were being
reviewed. "If this process happens, it will be done respectfully
of (union) representatives and industrial logic."
The company has put a 750 million euro ($1 billion) price
tag on the unit, but this is seen as too much by some potential
bidders, Les Echos said.
Total, like industry peers, is in a drive to boost
shareholder returns and keep a lid on costs as investors prepare
for a downturn in the oil-price cycle.
The company has already sold assets including its stake in
GTT and sources have said it plans to sell its stake in
the Shah Deniz II gas field.
($1 = 0.7227 Euros)
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent; writing by Michel Rose,; Editing
by David Holmes and Mark Potter)