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Equity firms head Shell gas race

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Equity firms head Shell gas race

“The sale is part of Shell’s $15bn divestment programme, launched last year by Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive, which is designed to help fund the group’s £25bn investment in its oil reserves.”

Sunday 21 August 2005

By Sylvia Pfeifer (Filed: 21/08/2005)

Private equity groups are leading the race to buy the $3bn (£1.6bn) liquified petroleum gas (LPG) business put up for sale by Royal Dutch Shell earlier this year.

First round bids for the business were submitted earlier this month and it is understood that potential buyers were informed late last week whether or not they had made it through to the next round.

Those believed to be on the shortlist include: a consortium made up of Repsol, the Spanish oil and gas giant, and CVC Capital Partners, the private equity group; a joint bidding group made up of Blackstone, the US private equity firm, and its UK counterpart Permira; and a combination of America’s Bain Capital and PAI Capital Partners of France.

Two other groups are also through to the next round. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the US leveraged buyout fund, and Goldman Sachs Private Equity have teamed up to launch a joint bid, while Carlyle Group, the US private equity house, is bidding on its own.

The Shell business is one of the largest in the global LPG market and analysts believe that it could be sold for as much as $3bn.

The oil giant announced a strategic review of the business last year after receiving an unsolicited approach.

The sale is part of Shell’s $15bn divestment programme, launched last year by Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive, which is designed to help fund the group’s £25bn investment in its oil reserves.

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