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Eni Drops Bid For Shell ‘s Iberian Gas Stations – Source

The Wall Street Journal: Eni Drops Bid For Shell ‘s Iberian Gas Stations – Source

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

June 25, 2004 11:33 a.m.

Posted 26 June 04

ROME — Italian oil and gas company Eni SpA (E) won’t bid for Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s (RD, SC) petrol stations in the Iberian peninsula, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.

The decision was made after the company was informed by press agencies that its Anglo-Dutch rival had clinched a separate deal to sell its Portuguese petrol stations to Spain’s Repsol YPF (REP), the person said.

“We’ve learned from press reports that part of Shell’s assets in the Iberian peninsula were sold. Therefore, we are not interested in a deal any more,” the person said.

The sudden decision to walk out was made only a few hours after Eni Chief Executive Vittorio Mincato had restated his interest in a deal.

“We will submit a bid by the deadline, which is about to expire,” Mincato had told reporters earlier Friday.

Corrected June 25, 2004 12:04 ET (14:04 GMT)

While Mincato was making his remarks, however, Shell announced it was selling to Repsol a network of 303 retail service stations, a 15% stake in Compania Logistica de Combustibles and distribution assets across Portugal.

Earlier Friday, answering reporters’ questions about news of the transaction between Shell and Repsol, Mincato said, “As far we’re concerned, the (selling process) is still going on. If Shell has already sold it, it means that we are not buying it.”

Shell also said it is in discussions with a number of prospective buyers with a view to divesting its Spanish retail and commercial fuels businesses and distribution assets.

-By Vittorio Alessio, Dow Jones Newswires; +39 06 678 2543; [email protected]

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