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AOC Transfers Interest In Greek Refinery Company

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 11/23/2005, Location: Middle East

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Aramco Overseas Company (AOC) and Motor Oil Holdings S.A. (MOHH), a member of the Vardinoyannis group of Greece, announced that they have completed the sale/purchase of AOC's remaining interest in Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries S.A. (MOH).

Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries S.A. (MOH) commenced operations in 1972, producing both lubricants and industrial fuels. MOH subsequently undertook a series of investments in the refinery, and in 1975, commenced production of a full range of refined petroleum products. In March 1996, AOC acquired a 50% interest in MOH, which was reduced by 8.1% in the 2001 IPO. Since 1996 the refinery has completed four major upgrading projects enabling it to both meet the European Union's stringent clean fuel quality specifications and increase the production of valuable transportation fuels. MOH is now one of the most sophisticated upgrading refineries in the Mediterranean region and has the capability of producing high quality transportation fuels from a wide variety of lower-cost sour crude oils.

Commenting on the sale, Mr. A.A. Al-Gouhi, the AOC-nominated former Managing Director of MOH, observed that since its investment in MOH in 1996, AOC and its parent, Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, had enjoyed a profitable and mutually beneficial relationship with the Vardinoyannis group as controlling shareholders of MOH. He said that over the intervening 9Ĺ years, the company had evolved into one of the most sophisticated and efficient refiners in the Mediterranean. The company's future prospects were bright following the successful completion of the Ä350 million refinery upgrade project. Mr. Al-Gouhi explained AOC's decision to divest its remaining interest in MOH by pointing to considerations associated with Saudi Aramco's long-term downstream investment strategy, which focuses on the creation of new export refining capacity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and shift of overseas investment focus on high-growth Asian downstream markets. He wished MOH and its technically proficient and commercially astute workforce and management best wishes for future success.

Reflecting on their long-term joint-venture relationship, MOH Chairman Mr. V.J. Vardinoyiannis thanked AOC and Saudi Aramco for the strong support they had provided for the growth and development of MOH over the last decade and indicated that he looks forward to a continuing relationship with Saudi Arabia as a major crude oil supplier.

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