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Suncor to auction Petro-Canada’s lubricants business

Suncor Energy Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is reported to have launched an auction of its Petro-Canada lubricants business, which could fetch as much as USD 800 million, according to a Reuters report. Neither Suncor, nor Bank of America, which is said to be handling the sale, did not respond to Reuter’s request for comment.

The sale of Petro-Canada’s lubricants unit could help Suncor trim down its debt incurred by its recent acquisition (in April) of an additional 5% stake in the Syncrude oil sands mining consortium from the local unit of Murphy Oil Corp. The deal gave Suncor a controlling stake of 53.74% in Syncrude at a purchase price of USD 744 million. Last March, Suncor also completed its takeover of Canadian Oil Sands, which raised its stake in Syncrude to 48.74%, from 12% previously. Canadian Oil Sands was among the largest owners in the Syncrude operation in northern Alberta. The CAD 6.6 billion (USD 5.09 billion) deal included CAD 2.4 billion (USD 1.85 billion) of debt, leading to speculation that Suncor would divest some of its non-core assets, possibly including its fuel retail business.

Suncor merged with Petro-Canada in 2009. Petro-Canada has 1,500 fuel retail and wholesale outlets across Canada, as well as a specialty lubricants business. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Petro-Canada manufactures and sells more than 350 lubricants, oils and greases created for major industrial sectors in more than 80 countries. It is also the world’s largest manufacturer of white oils, which are used in health and beauty products, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, plastics and elastomers.

Suncor Energy is Canada’s leading integrated energy company. Suncor’s operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand.