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Newfoundland and Labrador government responds to reports of Come By Chance sale

Two workers conduct maintenance Friday at the Come By Chance refinery.
Two workers conduct maintenance at the Come By Chance refinery in this file photo. - Joe Gibbons

Natural Resources minister says it’s business as usual, no sale of refinery in works

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady said her understanding is the owners of the North Atlantic refinery in Come By Chance are not working on a sale right now, but she also is not ruling out the business changing hands.

“As we understand, the owners of the Come By Chance refinery are not actively pursuing a sale. The owners have invested in the refinery, improved its operations, and are committed to its long-term success,” Coady said in a statement issued in response to questions from The Telegram Wednesday.

“As in any commercial business, if an opportunity came along, (the owners) would consider it. The refinery has a long history in the province and generates significant economic and employment benefits.”

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Citing a trio of sources familiar with the firm, Reuters reported on Tuesday that a sale of the refinery — one Reuters has previously reported on — had fallen through, given an internal dispute with the sellers over price (see: https://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKBN1K02T3-OCABS).

The Telegram left messages with North Atlantic Refining, but received no response by deadline.

And there was no answer at the SilverPeak Financial Partners’ office in New York on Wednesday morning, with no ability to leave a message, but any updates from the owners will be provided as they become available.

The Come By Chance refinery was sold by Harvest Operations Corp. to SilverRange Financial Partners in 2014. The sale included North Atlantic’s marketing arm and Orange stores, in addition to the refinery.

In March 2017, Reuters reported the SilverPeak Financial Partners (the same owners) were looking to sell the refinery and associated gas station operations, with Irving Oil being the most likely buyer. But both area MHA Mark Browne and Coady said the owners told them they were not entertaining offers at that point.

There have been layoffs at the refinery since, but in May a group including Coady, Premier Dwight Ball and Browne toured the facility with local reporters to see some of the changes made there to increase production capacity and, according to the owners, ensure long-term reliability.

To that point, SilverPeak Financial reported spending over $250 million on the site since its purchase.

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