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Sasol

Sasol

Industry: 
Chemicals
Value of USG Contracts: 
2
Symbol: 
NYSE:SSL
States: 
AZ
CA
LA
TX
Country: 
South Africa
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

“The US Government Accountability Office, in a recently released report, moved ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), and three others, including Petronet LNG Ltd, out of the list…’Since our last report in December 2012, we have moved four firms -- INA (of Croatia), ONGC Videsh Ltd, Petronet LNG, and Sasol -- to the ‘withdrawn’ category,’ the GAO report said.”  (Economic Times, “US moves ONGC Videsh out of list of firms with ties to Iran,” 4/10/14)  

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"Sasol Ltd. said Wednesday the company sold its Iran operations in August for $238 million. Chief Executive David Constable had told Dow Jones Newswires in March the company was in talks with a buyer. The South African motor-fuels producer announced in mid-August that it sold its 50% stake in Arya Sasol Polymer Co., or ASPC, a joint venture between Sasol and Iran’s state-owned petrochemicals company, to Main Street 1095 Ltd., a South African subsidiary of an Iranian investor.'As a result of this transaction, Sasol has no on-going investment in Iran,' the company said at the time, to praise from a U.S.-based pressure group. But Sasol didn’t disclose the amount in the announcement. In its annual report filed Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sasol said the 'total purchase price' sale was for $238 million payable in several installments, the last of which is due Nov. 20. It said elsewhere in the filing that it 'entered into a definitive sale and share purchase agreement…for a purchase consideration' of $365 million. Sasol flagged its Iran disclosure in an IRANNOTICE, as required under sanctions law that went into effect earlier this year. The sale was facilitated by a license obtained from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Assets Control, Sasol said in the annual report. There are some lingering commitments to be wrapped up after the divestment that Sasol warned in the annual report it 'may be unable to settle... due to sanctions.'" (Wall Street Journal, "Sasol Divested Iran Operations in August for $238M," 10/9/13)

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"It has been more than 20 months since Sasol announced its intention to exit Iran. This week, the energy company announced that it had finally reached a deal to sell its stake in Arya Sasol Polymer Company to Main Street 1095...New York-based lobby group against Iran, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which has been calling for Sasol and MTN to stop doing business in Iran for quite some time, applauded Sasol for ending its business in the Islamic republic. UANI Spokesperson Nathan Carleton told Finweek in an email that this was the right decision, adding, 'We hope that Sasol considered the views of the American people in this matter, particularly those in the state of Louisiana, where they plan to do extensive business. Sasol had to make a choice: do business in Iran, or do business in the US.' Portfolio Manager at Vestact Byron Lotter says that it was a simple situation—especially considering that the energy and chemical company was investing as much as its market cap equivalent in North America’s Louisiana—Sasol had to make the choice between the US and Iran. 'The US relations with Sasol are core to its future,' Lotter told Finweek, adding that he did not think that Sasol’s relations with the US were in any way becoming sour." (Finweek, “In or out! SA maintains friendly relations with Iran,” 8/28/13) 

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"Sasol had been pressured by international advocacy groups to sell its stake in the Iran business. ... Sasol has sold its stake in the Iran-based joint venture Arya Sasol Polymers Company, officials said on Monday. Sasol reached the agreement with Main Street 1095, a South African subsidiary of an Iranian investor. Main Street 1095 will acquire 100% of Sasol's joint venture vehicle SPI International, which holds a 50% stake in Arya Sasol Polymers. 'As a result of this transaction, Sasol has no on-going investment in Iran,' the company said in a news release. Sasol had been pressured by international advocacy groups such as US-based United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) to sell its stake in the Iran business." (Hydrocarbon Processing, "Sasol Exits Iran with Sale of Polymer Business,"  8/19/13)

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"Sasol Ltd. (SOL), the world’s biggest coal-to-gasoline producer, sold its stake in an Iranian unit after writing down the value of the business. Sasol sold its 50 percent stake in Arya Sasol Polymer Co. to Main Street 1095 (Pty) Ltd., a South African subsidiary of an Iranian investor, the Johannesburg-based company said today in a statement, without disclosing a price.'As a result of this transaction, Sasol has no ongoing investment in Iran,' the company said in the statement…Sasol wrote down the value of Arya by 1.97 billion rand ($195 million) for the second half of 2012 on Feb. 8, and impaired it by a further 1.6 billion rand by June 30, cutting the carrying value of Arya to 2.3 billion rand, it said Aug. 1." (Bloomberg, "Sasol Sells Stake in Arya Iranian Polymer Unit to Main Street," 8/19/13)

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“Meanwhile, Sasol chief financial officer Christine Ramon said in a June 7 note to stakeholders that the group was finalising the disposal of its 50% shareholding in the Arya Sasol Polymers Company (ASPC) in Iran.  ‘We concluded a memorandum of understanding with an interested party regarding the disposal of ASPC and at the date of this update, we are finalising closing activities,’ she said.  But in a June 10 conference call she told US-based shareholders that further losses of about $100m relating to the foreign currency translation reserve would be recognised in income once Sasol had finally divested its share. Ms Ramon also said the devaluation of the Iranian currency may further negatively affect earnings."  (Business Day, New leader in Iran may offer respite to MTN, Sasol,” 6/19/13)

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"Sasol Ltd., the world’s largest producer of motor fuel from coal, said an unstable and unpredictable exchange rate for the rand cuts South Africa's competitiveness. The company gains 861 million rand ($94 million) in operating profit for every 10 cents the rand weakens against the dollar, Senior Executive for Global Chemicals Andre de Ruyter said in an interview today in Johannesburg, where Sasol is based... Sasol’s profit declined to 13 percent to 12.1 billion rand in the six months through December as it wrote down the value of its Iranian polymers unit as it wrote down the value of its Iranian polymers unit, it said in a statement today... The loss was primarily due to the Iranian rial’s depreciation against the dollar, Sasol said... 'These items relate primarily to the partial impairments of our Arya Sasol Polymer Co. investment and the Solvents Germany business of 1.97 billion rand and 198 million rand, respectively.' Sasol said Feb. 8 that it is in talks with interested parties to sell its stake in Arya, which it co-owns with Pars Petrochemical Co. of Iran, a unit of National Petrochemical... Sasol would like to see the 60 percent exemption increased, Chief Executive Officer David Constable said at today’s presentation. Sasol is spending as much as $21 billion on a gas-to-liquid plant and a chemicals operation in Louisiana, the biggest foreign-direct investment in the state’s history, according to Constable. The company is also investing in Canada, Uzbekistan and Nigeria, as well as ramping up production in Qatar. Sasol may approach bond markets regularly to fund its expansion in North America and may look at issuing further dollar debt, Ramon said." (Bloomberg, "Sasol Says Rand Swings Erode South Africa’s Competitiveness," 3/11/2013)

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"SASOL’s headline earnings per share for the six months ended December were expected to rise by up to 5% compared with the previous comparable period, the company said in a trading update on Friday. But earnings per share were expected to fall 10%-20% because of an impairment of its share in Arya Sasol Polymers in Iran, from which it was trying to divest. During the period, the investment was impaired by R1.97bn based on Sasol’s assessment of the fair value of the asset. Sasol said this took into account the 'uncertainty' associated with the Iranian operating environment, which was reeling under US and European Union sanctions... Sasol said that despite a 'solid' operating performance by Arya, its results for the six months had been negatively affected by the devaluation of the Iranian currency. This had resulted in losses of more than R1bn being recognised in the income statement. The 50:50 joint venture between Sasol and the National Petrochemical Company of Iran comprised a 'cracker' for producing polymer-grade ethylene and two polyethylene plants. Sasol had invested about $500m in the facility. The company said on Friday it was in a closed period and could not comment further... Mr Meintjes said the global operating environment for Sasol was neutral." (Business Day, "Sasol share earnings to dip on Iranian unit," 2/11/2013)

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"Sasol Ltd., the world's largest producer of motor fuel from coal, said profit for the six months through December will be affected by a writedown in the value of its Iranian unit. Earnings per share will probably decrease by 10 percent to 20 percent compared with a year earlier after the Johannesburg- based company cut the value of its 50 percent stake in Arya Sasol Polymers Co. by 1.97 billion rand ($220 million). 'We continue to actively engage with interested parties to divest from our share in Arya Sasol Polymers Company,' it said. Sasol co-owns Arya with Pars Petrochemical Co. of Iran, a unit of National Petrochemical. Arya contributes about 3 percent to the South African company's operating profit." (Bloomberg, "Sasol’s Writedown of Iran Unit to Hammer First-Half Earnings," 2/8/13)

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"Sasol Ltd., the largest producer of motor fuel from coal, said discussions continue with potential buyers of its stake in Arya Sasol Polymer Co., amid reports that an Iranian official denied the company plans to withdraw. 'We continue to engage with a number of interested parties who include business and government stakeholders,' Alex Anderson, a spokesman for Johannesburg-based Sasol, said in an e-mailed response to questions today. Reports that Sasol has decided to cut investment in Iran because of sanctions against the country are rumors, Abdol Hossein Bayat, head of the National Petrochemical Co. of Iran, was cited yesterday as saying by the state-run Fars news agency. Sasol may classify its 50 percent stake in Arya as an asset held for sale, it said in a Dec. 3 statement. Sasol co-owns Arya with Pars Petrochemical Co. of Iran, a unit of National Petrochemical. Arya contributes about 3 percent to the South African company's operating profit, Chief Financial Officer Christine Ramon said Sept. 10." (Bloomberg, "Sasol Says Arya Polymer Sale Talks Continue as Iran Denies Exit," 12/27/12)

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"At least seven companies from China, India, South Korea and South Africa continued to have investments in Iran's oil and gas sectors in 2012 even as Tehran came under international scrutiny for its nuclear ambitions, a U.S. government watchdog said on Friday . . . The United States requires buyers of Iranian oil to make significant cuts to their oil purchases, or risk being cut off from the U.S. financial system. Most of the companies still involved in Iran's energy sector are from countries that on Friday received six-month waivers called 'exceptions' to the sanctions because they have reduced oil trade . . . South Africa's Sasol has been active in a joint venture in Iran but recently stated it is trying to divest, the GAO said." (Reuters, "Some foreign firms still active in Iran's energy sector: U.S. report," 12/7/12)

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"Sasol Ltd., the world's largest producer of motor fuels from coal, on Monday said it is planning an expansion drive in North America as it continues to look for a buyer for its Iranian plant. 'Most volume increases in the next eight years will be from North America,' said Chief Executive David Constable. 'We're exiting Iran because of sanctions…We see it getting tougher there to do business.' Sasol, which spends about two thirds of capital in its home country of South Africa, said it has a series of plans to sharpen its focus on the U.S. and Canada in the next few years. In light of this, Mr. Constable told The Wall Street Journal that Sasol has no plans to resume crude oil imports from Iran and is progressing with the sale of its 50% stake in a $900 million Iranian petrochemical project... Sasol said it plans to make a decision on the Canadian plant by the end of the year. From 2020, Sasol said it also wants to look at Australia, where it is currently exploring for gas assets. It could consider building a gas-to-liquid plant there in the future... In light of the sanctions from the U.S. and European Union against Iran, Sasol stopped buying Iranian crude oil from Iran in January. Sasol is sourcing more Arabian, Nigerian and Angolan oil in its place. Sasol relied on Iranian oil imports for about 20% of its crude requirement, or 12,000 barrels a day, at its Natref refinery... Sasol also Monday posted a strong rise in full-year profit, boosted by higher energy prices." (The Wall Street Journal, "South Africa's Sasol Sets Sights on North America," 9/10/12)

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"South Africa has relied on Iran for about one quarter of its crude oil imports, but has come under pressure from the U.S. and Europe to reduce that amount. U.S. officials have leaned on South Africa and other countries to curtail business with a country that's been accused of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge. South Africa's Sasol Ltd., the world's largest coal-to-motor-fuel producer, recently announced it had stopped buying Iranian crude oil and is sourcing more Saudi Arabian crude in its place." (The Wall Street Journal, "South Africa Acts in MTN Bribery Case," 7/12/12)

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"Refiners in South Africa include Shell, BP, Total, Chevron, petrochemicals group Sasol , and Engen, majority-owned by Malaysian state oil group Petronas. BP, Chevron, Sasol and Engen said earlier this year that they have either stopped or were not sourcing any Iranian crude. Trade data from March showed, however, that imports of Iranian crude had gone up from the previous month." (Reuters, "S.Africa keen to replace Iranian crude with Nigerian," 5/24/2012)

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"S. Africa - Engen, Sasol stopped imports." (Bloomberg, "Iran Oil Output May Drop By 950,000 Barrels By July, IEA Says," 4/12/2012)

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"Although cellphone giant MTN is refusing to pull out of Iran, petrochemicals giant Sasol is working hard to exit the Islamic republic that has been placed under sanctions by the United States and the European Union because of its nuclear programme. Sasol has stopped buying Iranian crude oil and its spokesperson, Jacqui O’Sullivan, confirmed this week that Sasol’s talks with potential buyers to off-load its Arya Sasol Polymers plant in Iran were progressing. Sasol Oil used to procure a relatively small amount of Iranian crude, about 12 000 barrels a day, roughly 20% of the company’s crude requirement for processing at its Natref refinery in Sasolburg... 'We’ve stopped the purchases because of sanction fears. In terms of the polymer plant, we’re looking to divest, but talks with buyers are still at an early stage and we cannot say anything until it’s at an advanced stage,' O’ Sullivan said. 'We’re working hard to try to conclude things within a decent time period. Those talks are ongoing and involve a number of business and government stakeholders.'... Sasol voiced fears during the past year that the US government, the EU and the United Nations could impose sanctions on the company because of its chemicals investments in Iran. 'In view of recent developments regarding trade restrictions and oil sanctions against Iran, the Sasol Group is diversifying its crude-oil sourcing to mitigate risks associated with oil supply disruptions from the Middle East,' David Constable, Sasol Oil chief executive, said on March 12, announcing the company’s interim results for the six months ending December 2011. In a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing last November, Sasol said: 'We continue to evaluate the risks and implications of these sanctions on our investments in Iran. However, we cannot assure you that, as a result of these sanctions, our activities in Iran would not be adversely impacted and there would not be a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.' Sasol is a 50% owner in Arya Sasol Polymer with Iran’s state-owned National Petrochemical Company. Pars Petrochemical, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, is also a partner in the joint venture and supplies ethylene, which is used as a raw material for the chemical industry, or polymer plants... Arya Sasol Polymer has been battling to some extent. In the latest interim results, the company said the Iranian plant had a capacity utilisation rate of 81%." (Mail & Guardian, "Sasol's plans to quit Iran under way," 4/9/2012)

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"South Africa's Sasol Ltd. is starting to diversify oil sources away from Iranian imports, it said Wednesday, as pressure from the U.S. and European Union mounts... Sasol, the world's largest producer of motor fuels from coal, relies on Iranian oil imports for about 20% of its crude requirement, or 12,000 barrels a day, at its Natref refinery. 'In view of recent developments regarding trade restrictions and possible oil sanctions against Iran, Sasol Oil is diversifying its crude oil sourcing,' a company spokeswoman said, declining to give further details... Along with Sasol, which not only imports Iranian oil but also has a 50% share in a $900 million Iranian petrochemical project, South Africa's flagship telecommunications company MTN Group Ltd. has a joint venture in Iran... Sasol, which has U.S. interests, announced late in 2011 that it started preliminary discussions to exit its venture in Iran on concerns U.S. sanctions could hurt its business. On Wednesday, the company reiterated that those talks are ongoing and are taking place with a number of business and government partners." (The Wall Street Journal, "South Africa's Sasol to Avoid Iran Oil," 1/25/2012)

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"Among the results so far, Angola's state-owned energy company, Sonangol, is considering pulling out of an Iranian gas deal, and Sasol Ltd. of South Africa says it is discussing whether to divest itself of its 50% share in a $900 million Iranian petrochemical project... Sasol, one of South Africa's biggest companies by market capitalization, reiterated recently that it is considering an exit from its petrochemical project in Iran, largely because it feared being targeted by sanctions from the U.S., Europe and the United Nations. Sasol declined to comment on the timing or reason for the move." (The Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Looks to Africa to Squeeze Iran," 1/23/2012)

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"South African petrochemicals group Sasol said on Wednesday it had entered talks to potentially divest from its operations in Iran, a move already flagged in October. Sasol had said in a filing to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission last month that there was a possible risk that sanctions may be imposed on the company by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations as a result of its investments in Iran.This would stem from sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes but the United States and its allies fear is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Sasol has a stock market listing in New York. 'We previously announced our intention to review our investment in Iran and we have subsequently entered into discussions to potentially divest our stake in Arya Sasol Polymers Company,' chief financial officer Christine Ramon said in a statement. Sasol has a 50 percent stake in Arya Sasol Polymer company, a joint venture with Pars Petrochemical Company of Iran. The venture produces ethylene and polyethylene, which are used in the production of plastics." (Reuters, "UPDATE 1-Sasol says may divest from Iran unit," 11/30/2011) 

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"South African petrochemicals group Sasol (SOLJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fears that the United States might impose sanctions on it due to its investments in Iran, the Business Day newspaper reported on Tuesday. Sasol, the world's top maker of motor fuel from coal, said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that it was concerned Washington's Iranian Transactions Regulations posed a risk to its operations, the paper said. "There are possible risks posed by the potential imposition of U.S. economic sanctions in connection with activities we are undertaking in the polymers field, as well as feasibility studies relating to a potential ammonia-urea project at Assaluyeh in Iran," the paper quoted the company as saying. The regulations are part of the pressure being put on Tehran over its nuclear programme, which Washington suspects has military aims although Iran says its purpose is to produce electricity. While the regulations restrict transactions between U.S. persons and Iran, Sasol was worried that because of its status as a multinational, the regulations might apply to entities associated with it, including U.S. employees and investors, Business Day said." (Reuters, Sasol fears US sanctions for Iran business," 10/13/09)

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Listed by the U.S. Government as doing business in Iran. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, List of Companies Doing Business With State Sponsors Of Terror, Removed from the Internet in July 2007)

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