Citgo Parent Sale Hearing Delayed as Special Master Weighs Bids

(Bloomberg) -- A federal judge pushed back a hearing for the sale of Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s parent company, giving a court-appointed special master more time to evaluate bids for control of one of the largest oil refiners in the US.

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Judge Leonard Stark moved the hearing to September 19 after the special master, Robert Pincus, asked for the additional time to ensure the winning bid maximizes the company’s value. The hearing was previously set for July 15.

Pincus plans to announce the winning bid on July 31, moving a years-long saga over PDV Holding closer to a conclusion. Shares of the Citgo parent company are being auctioned off by the Delaware court to satisfy about $20 billion in claims against the Venezuelan government and its state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA — the ultimate owner of PDV Holding.

Ray Schrock, a lawyer for Pincus, said at the hearing on Tuesday that Pincus received “several competitive bids that the special master believes are actionable” in the final round of the auction that ended June 11. Even after the winner is announced, parties will have time to object before the September hearing.

Companies like independent oil trader Vitol and Canadian miner Gold Reserve Inc. have shown interest in acquiring the shares.

Citgo operates three refineries in the US with a combined capacity of 807,000 barrels per day, according to its website. It also has one of the largest networks of oil terminals, as well as pipelines and lubricant plants.

Representatives for PDVSA, which is controlled by Venezuela’s US-recognized opposition, have been lobbying the Biden administration to halt the sale of PDV Holding ahead of presidential elections in Venezuela, scheduled for July 28.

The case is Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, 17-mc-00151, US District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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