The Prax Group acquisition, appointments and securitisation

The Prax Group, a leading independent oil refining, trading, storage, distribution and retail conglomerate dealing in petroleum products and bio-fuels, has announced that it has successfully completed the strategic acquisition of Lindsey Oil Refinery and its associated logistic assets in the United Kingdom, following the signing of an agreement in July 2020 to purchase the refinery from energy major Total.

Covering a 500-acre site and located five miles from the Humber Estuary in North Killingholme, North Lincolnshire, Lindsey Oil Refinery has an annual production capacity of 5.4 million tonnes.  It is one of Europe’s most advanced refineries, processing over 20 different types of crude including, petrol, diesel, bitumen, fuel oil and aviation fuels, which are transported across the UK and abroad by sea, road, rail and pipelines.
With a strong track record of integrating acquisitions and managing assets in the oil value chain, the Prax Group is a long-standing and trusted partner of Total.  The acquisition of the refinery will bring about new investment and underlines the Prax Group’s determination to support the local economy and the wider community, whilst continuing to explore new business opportunities as part of its long-term growth strategy.
Prax has also announced the appointment of Luc Smets as general manager of the refinery.  Prior to his

Luc Smets, general manager, Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery

appointment, Luc was refinery manager for the Gunvor Group, where he also sat as chairman of the refinery’s board of directors, and respectively as a member of the board of the Belgian Petroleum Federation and a member of the board of Mineralöl Wirtschafts Verband – associations which represent the interests of the mineral oil industry in Belgium and Germany.
With over 30 years’ extensive operational experience across the oil and refining industries, Luc has contributed to the successful business growth and development of a number of organisations including ExxonMobil Europe, Exxon Chemicals, Esso Belgium and Esso Luxembourg.
Commenting on the acquisition and Luc’s appointment, Sanjeev Kumar, said: “We are delighted to welcome Luc to the Prax Group, and more specifically to Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery. A natural progression for the Group, the acquisition provides the opportunity to integrate the refinery and its associated product flows into our UK distribution and retail footprint.  With Luc’s extensive knowledge of all aspects of both the oil and the refinery industries, I look forward to the Prax Group continuing to provide a secure supply of energy to new and existing customers.”
Prax also announced the successful completion of a USD750 million securitisation facility. The Group mandated HSBC Bank plc as Arranger, with HSBC Bank UK plc, Citibank N.A., JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., and Royal Bank of Canada as senior note purchasers.
Robin Edwards, chief financial officer of the Prax Group, said: “This new source of funding is an important milestone for the Group and will provide it with a solid platform from which to execute its strategic objectives and to support its future growth plans. The launch of a new securitisation facility, particularly amidst the backdrop of a challenging economic environment, serves to highlight the strength of our business model, and the confidence that the securitisation participants have in our management team and our vision for the future. We are very appreciative of their support in providing this commitment to the Group,” he concluded.