Petroplus denies fraud allegations

Petroplus denies fraud allegations
Mick Garratt (File)

Swiss-based oil refiner Petroplus on Thursday denied French allegations of fraud after prosecutors launched an investigation into the beleaguered firm.

The company said in a statement that it “refuted all allegations of fraudulent bankruptcy in France” following a probe into funds allegedly missing from the accounts of its French subsidiary.

Petroplus said that at the opening of business on January 23rd, the total balances on bank accounts held by Petroplus Marketing France SAS at Deutsche Bank were €124 million and $59 million.

“During that day Deutsche Bank, one of the lenders under the Revolving Credit Facility (RCF), transferred €122 million and $59 million of this cash that was held on accounts pledged under the RCF out of these accounts,” the firm said.

“No Petroplus legal entity provided any instructions or took any actions to transfer these funds from these French accounts.”

Petroplus said late on Wednesday that several of its subsidiaries in France had filed for judicial assistance.

They include Petroplus Holdings France SAS, Petroplus Marketing France SAS, Petroplus Raffinage Reichstett SAS and Petroplus Raffinage Petit-Couronne SAS, which owns the Petit Couronne refinery in Normandy.

Petroplus, with $1.75 billion (€1.3 billion) in outstanding debt, had been negotiating for weeks with lenders to reopen credit lines needed to maintain operations, said last week it would sell the French plant.

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