Northern Tier Energy Renews IPO

SuperAmerica owner says it expects to raise $325 million to pay off debt, more

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Northern Tier Energy LP, the owner of the St. Paul Park oil refinery and SuperAmerica convenience stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin, said Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that it expects to raise $325 million in its planned initial public offering (IPO) of 16.2 million limited partnership units.

The company is hoping each unit will fetch $19 to $21, said a report by The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Northern Tier Energy, based in Ridgefield, Conn., said that after underwriting expenses it expected to receive $288 million in proceeds to pay off debt, cover recent losses, make payments related to its 2010 acquisition and reward investment firms behind the deal, according to the report.

The company, which will trade under the symbol NTI, is a limited partnership that even after the IPO will be controlled by ACON Refining Partners and TPG Refining.

The partnership acquired the refinery, c-stores and a stake in an oil pipeline from Marathon Oil Corp. in December 2010.

In its filings, Northern Tier said its business strategy is to invest in the refining and other operations, and to make acquisitions. The refinery, like others in the Midwest, has for several years benefitted from lower crude prices in the region because of inadequate pipeline capacity to market North Dakota and Canadian oil elsewhere, the report said.

In a bid to gain more control of one of its subsidiaries, Northern Tier Energy in December 2011 filed its intention with the SEC to conduct an IPO of stock up to $290 million.

Northern Tier was formed in 2010 to operate the assets spun off from Marathon Oil Corp. Houston-based Marathon Oil and its wholly owned subsidiary, Marathon Petroleum Co. LP, sold most of its SuperAmerica downstream assets in Minnesota to ACON Investments LLC and TPB Capital, which then formed Northern Tier.

Northern Tier Energy, which established itself in December 2010 with a $554 million purchase of c-stores, a refinery, a 17% interest in the Minnesota Pipe Line Co. and related assets from Marathon Oil, operates 166 c-stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supports 67 franchised convenience stores.

The proceeds of the IPO will help pay off $92 million in losses to an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co. on derivative contracts in the last quarter, Monday's filing said. The proceeds also will allow $132 million to be paid to Marathon Oil related to the acquisition, and ending that company's stake in Northern Tier.

The company said its operations are expected to generate $245.9 million in cash for the year ending June 30, 2013, and $61.8 million in the three months ending Sept. 30, 2013.