More than 20 firms, including internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, are bidding for some stake in the retail arm of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (600028.CN. 00386.HK), commonly known as Sinopec, that is being restructured, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday, citing sources.
Thirty percent of the ownership of the business that owns tens of thousands of gas stations in China will be open for bidding as Sinopec aims to bring in private capital, the report said. According to the restructuring plan, the retail arm will in future offer services such as convenience stores, auto-related business, advertisements as well as online-to-offline operations
The first round of bidding has begun, according to the sources. Among the bidders, half are said to be strategic investors from the fields of logistics, retail and internet, while the other half were financial investors, including private-equity funds and insurance companies.
As there are many bidders, the whole process might extend beyond its pre-set deadline of September, but should be completed by the end of the year, the sources said.
Sinopec plans to spin off the business after the share sale and list it in Hong Kong as soon as early 2015, according to the report.
Spokesmen for Alibaba and Tencent declined to comment on the matter, while Sinopec also refused to comment on the potential listing of the retail arm, the paper said.
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