Bulk liquid storage and handling company Quantem is being tipped as the most likely buyer of Vopak’s Australian fuel terminals, which are thought to have an asking price of at least $750m.

Dutch multinational Vopak issued a press release on November 3 indicating it was investigating strategic options for its terminals in Australia. This includes the possibility of a sale.

Investment bank JPMorgan has been hired to test buyer interest for the assets.

Vopak owns a large petroleum import and distribution terminal at Berrimah in Darwin consisting of 21 tanks and 173,583 cubic square metres (cbm) in capacity.

It also owns a large-scale independent petroleum import and distribution terminal at Port Botany in Sydney, consisting of 29 tanks that have capacity of and 371,650 cbm to handle petroleum, diesel, ethanol and bitumen products.

The terminals generate annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $75m.

Globally, Vopak has a network of terminals and handles products ranging from chemicals, oil, gases and LNG to biofuels and vegoils.

The company is trying to position itself to create key infrastructure for the shift internationally towards cleaner fuels.

However, questions remain over the level of interest in the assets, given that other investors are also trying to distance themselves from assets linked to fuels considered unfriendly to the environment.

Quantem has bulk liquid storage terminals in Australia and New Zealand and is considered the most logical owner. It owns ANZ Terminals and GrainCorp Liquid Terminals.

Some question whether it will gain Australian Competition & Consumer Commission approval to embark on a transaction.

Extracted in full from: Quantem tipped as Vopak fuel terminals buyer (theaustralian.com.au)

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