LIMA – Peru’s government is evaluating a potential purchase of Spanish oil major Repsol’s assets in the Andean nation, the economy minister said Thursday.
Luis Miguel Castilla told a press conference that the decision will not be made in the short term and issued an appeal for calm to business leaders and members of the political opposition who oppose a greater state role in the economy.
The government is weighing the “costs and benefits” of the potential asset purchase and “any other type of investment to be made by (state oil firm) Petroperu going forward,” he said after meeting with his counterparts from Peru’s Pacific Alliance partners: Colombia, Chile and Mexico.
Responding to media accounts about a supposed plan to assert state control over companies and prices, Castilla said the Peruvian government had no intention of returning “to discarded policies.”
“There’s been a lot of speculation in the media about the Peruvian government’s desire to acquire Repsol’s assets,” he said, adding that “no decision has been made in that regard nor will be made in the short term.”
“Let me state emphatically that Peru is committed to seeing the country grow via investment and private investment in particular,” the minister said.
According to media reports, Repsol would expect an offer for its 51.3 percent stake in the La Pampilla refinery, located in Lima’s port of Callao, and for 333 of its service stations in Peru.
Lima daily El Comercio said President Ollanta Humala and Energy Minister Jorge Merino met privately Monday with Repsol CEO Antonio Brufau.
Brufau arrived in Lima on a “lightning visit” to negotiate the sale of the company’s assets in Peru – particularly La Pampilla, which requires a $2 billion upgrade, the newspaper said. EFE