Bloomberg News

Swiss Government, Banks Should Aid Petroplus Refinery, Unia Says

January 16, 2012

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann should help find a solution for Petroplus Holdings AG, the European refiner fighting to avoid bankruptcy, a Bern-based union said today.

The federal government should work with the canton of Neuchatel, where the firm is planning to close a refinery next week, Unia said in a statement after posting an online petition. Banks that have frozen lines of credit to Zug, Switzerland-based Petroplus should also play an active role, Unia said.

“Discussions on a solution to keep up Petroplus’s Cressier refinery have unfortunately not led to concrete solutions,” the group said. A person taking inquiries at Neuchatel’s economic department declined to comment on whether talks were taking place.

Petroplus, Europe’s largest independent refiner, gained this week after the company reached a temporary agreement with creditors to renegotiate debts and keep its U.K. and German plants open. The shares were 8.6 percent higher today at 1.51 Swiss francs at 4:41 p.m. local time.

The stock has still plummeted 89 percent in the last year.

--Editor: Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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