Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (KKR), the US buyout firm, threw a lifeline to the Coryton refinery in Essex yesterday, striking an agreement that will keep it in business for the next three months.
As part of a consortium – which also involves Morgan Stanley and the private equity firm AtlasInvest – KKR will supply Coryton with oil and pay it a fee for turning it into petrol, diesel and jet fuel.
The refinery – which supplies a fifth of the petrol consumed in London and the South-east – went bust last month as its Swiss parent, Petroplus, filed for insolvency.
The site was within hours of running out of oil a fortnight ago when BP provided financing for a further batch of crude.
Steven Pearson, joint administrator and partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “This arrangement allows the refinery to continue to operate as usual whilst the feasibility of a permanent solution for the refinery is explored.”