April 28, 2014 / 8:10 AM / in 4 years

UPDATE 2-Total says has not launched sale of liquefied gas unit

(Recasts with Total comment)

PARIS, April 28 (Reuters) - 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

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