LONDON, July 24 Vitol and the
Carlyle Group's joint venture Varo Energy has bought
French oil company Total's Swiss diesel and heating
oil storage and distribution businesses, the company said on
The move gives midstream energy firm Varo direct access to
customers for its existing oil refining investments in
Switzerland and Germany, as the sector struggles with weak
margins across the continent.
"Adding business units which will allow us to distribute our
products directly to the end consumer is an important milestone
for Varo Energy's growth and development," managing director
Andreas Flütsch said in a statement.
The assets bought from Total include tank storage
facilities in Eclépens near Lausanne and the French oil major's
entire customer distribution and sales network for domestic
heating oil and diesel in Switzerland, the statement said.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Varo Energy already owns the 68,000 barrel per day Cressier
refinery in Switzerland and a 45 percent stake in the Bayernoil
refinery in Germany. It is primarily active in northern Germany,
Bavaria, and along the river Rhine, as well as in Switzerland.
European refining margins have been hard hit by falling
demand and competition from the United States and Asia, forcing
many companies to look for ways to streamline their businesses
or to shut plants outright.
Varo Energy is a joint venture between Vitol, the world's
largest independent oil trader, and the Carlyle Group, one of
the world's largest alternative asset managers.
(Reporting by David Sheppard; Editing by Catherine Evans)