Sinopec invites banks to advise on unit's revamp ahead of planned IPO: sources

A customer gets the tank of her car filled at a Sinopec gas station in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, September 11, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Petroleum and Chemicals Corp (Sinopec) 0386.HK has invited 14 banks to pitch for a role as a financial adviser to help it revamp the corporate structure of its fuels distribution unit ahead of a planned IPO in Hong Kong, people familiar with the plans told Reuters on Wednesday.

The group of firms invited to pitch included BOC International, CITIC Securities Co Ltd 600030.SS6030.HK, China International Capital Corp Ltd (CICC) 3908.HK, Goldman Sachs GS.N and UBS AG UBSG.S, added the people, who declined to be named because information on the proposed restructuring is not yet public.

The adviser will help the unit, Sinopec Marketing Co Ltd, transition from a limited liability company, which has less than 50 shareholders, into a corporation that can have a multitude of investors and a board of directors, among other things, added one of the people.

The IPO could raise about $12 billion next year, a separate person said, though the value is subject to market conditions at the time of the listing.

CICC, CITIC Securities, Goldman and UBS declined to comment, while Sinopec and BOC International didn’t immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Sinopec Marketing was valued at about $58 billion when it sold a 30 percent stake to a group of 25 investors for $17.5 billion in 2014 in what was hailed at the time as the country’s biggest privatization since President Xi Jinping came to power.

The investors included one of China's biggest asset managers, Harvest Fund Management Co Ltd, China Life Insurance 601628.SS, Tencent Holdings Ltd 0700.HK and private equity firms Hopu Investment and RRJ Capital.

The unit operates fuel stations and more than 23,000 convenience stores around the country.

Reporting by Julie Zhu and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman