Vitol, Carlyle Said to Announce Varo Energy IPO Next Week

(Bloomberg) -- Oil trader Vitol Group and buyout firm Carlyle Group are set to announce plans for an initial public offering of their European refiner and service-station operator Varo Energy BV as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.

The listing, expected on the Amsterdam stock exchange, could value the Rotterdam-based company at about 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), people familiar with the plans have said previously.

A Varo spokeswoman declined to comment.

Varo owns the Cressier Refinery in Switzerland and 45 percent of the Bayernoil plant in Germany. It also has about 3 million cubic meters of fuel-storage capacity and a fleet of service stations in Germany and the Netherlands.

The planned IPO marks a significant development for Vitol, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, which has largely shunned public capital markets and instead raised funds via bank loans, private placements in the U.S. and joint-venture deals with investors, including private equity and sovereign wealth funds.

Vitol has previously sold shares in two smaller businesses -- its terminal and storage unit and Kazakhstan-focused oil explorer Arawak Energy Ltd.

Closely held Varo’s other shareholder is Reggeborgh, a private Dutch investor, with each group owning a third of the equity. The company has grown rapidly since it was created in 2012. The Cressier refinery in Switzerland handles 68,000 barrels a day while its 45 percent interest in the Bayernoil plant in Germany is equivalent to about 97,000 barrels a day of capacity.

Varo is headed by Chief Executive Officer Roger Brown, a refining industry veteran who has previously worked for BP Plc and Klesch Petroleum.

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