Southern Cross Group, which owns the Petrobras lubricants and fuels business in Chile, has put it on the sales block, according to local news reports.
The business, Esmax, also distributes Chevron lubricants in Chile and is the nation’s third-largest fuels and lubes retailer. Diario Financiero reported last month that Southern Cross is seeking a price tag of U.S. $900 million.
Southern Cross did not respond to questions from Lube Report.
The investment firm, which is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acquired the Petrobras chain in Chile in 2017 from Petrobras, which is Brazil’s national energy company. The chain now includes 294 fuel stations and convenience stores that fuels, along with lubricants marketed under the Lubrax brand.
The stations are still branded as Petrobras, but the Lubrax brand now belongs to Vibra, which was formerly BR Distribuidora S.A., the fuels and distribution arm of Petrobras before Petrobras spun it off between 2019 and 2021. Southern Cross’s acquisition of Petrobras Chile gave it rights to continue using the Petrobras and Lubrax brands until 2025.
Petrobras Chile ranks behind Empresas Copec – a Chilean energy and forestry company – and Shell in terms of fuels and lubricant sales in Chile. Because of their market leading positions, competition rules would not permit Copec or Shell to purchase Petrobras Chile.
Without citing sources, Diario Financiero reported that Southern Cross contacted potential buyers in the United States, Europe and Asia. It also said that Peruvian conglomerate Romero Group, which has existing operations in Chile, is one of the potential buyers “repeated most.”