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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Royal Dutch Shell to sell Pacific Island businesses

From Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Tuesday it would sell its downstream sales and marketing operations in some Pacific island nations to focus its regional portfolio on fewer, larger scale businesses.

Shell will sell its businesses in Fiji and Tonga to Total France SA , while its businesses in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and French Polynesia will be purchased by existing regional joint-venture partner Albert Moux and Partners.

The company said its businesses in the Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands would be the subject of a separate announcement.

“The divestment is consistent with Shell’s strategy of managing its portfolio to deliver maximum value to customers and shareholders,” said Shell in a statement, saying the businesses had a higher value to the purchasing companies given their differing management priorities and capital focus.

The sales agreements relate to Shell’s aviation, marine, lubricants, commercial fuels, distribution and retail businesses, and include a network of 65 retail service stations and 12 storage and distribution depots.

Shell has negotiated a bulk fuel supply agreement with each purchasing company for up to five years, while Albert Moux will continue to use the Shell brand at selected service stations under a licensing arrangement.

The company said the specific terms of the transactions are confidential but that they should settle in the coming months, subject to regulatory approvals.

Copyright 2006 Reuters

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