Colony’s €4bn Tamoil deal is over

Mohamed Layas, chairman of Libya’s state investment arm, has reportedly said ‘there is no deal’ to sell a majority stake in the oil refiner and distributor, Tamoil, to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Colony Capital.

An agreement by private equity real estate firm Colony Capital to purchase a majority stake in Tamoil, an oil refiner and distributor owned by the Libyan government, is no longer proceeding according to a report.

Reuters quotes Mohamed Layas, chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) which owns Tamoil, as saying, “there is no deal” when asked about the status of talks between Tamoil and Colony Capital.

“That's something that was discussed a long time ago with Tamoil, between Tamoil and Colony. To my information there is no deal anymore. This is not new,” he is reported as saying.

It emerged last June that Colony had agreed to acquire a 65 percent stake in the company, which owns and operates more than 3,000 service stations across Europe. Colony said the agreement marked the second major foray by private equity into the European oil refining business in recent years.

At the time, the transaction was also taken as a further sign that Libya was emerging from its decades-long period of isolation and international sanctions. The deal valued Tamoil at €4 billion ($5.4 billion).

As well as operating more than 3,000 service stations throughout Europe, the company owns refineries in Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Germany. In addition to this, it has operations in Africa, which were not part of the Colony transaction.

Over the past two years, Colony has branched out into non-traditional deals, such as the purchase of a nine percent stake in French retailer Carrefour alongside entrepreneur Bernard Arnault and the acquisition of French football team Paris Saint Germain alongside Morgan Stanley and Butler Capital. Colony declined to comment on the report.