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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: French company, Rubis, moves to buy Shell Bermuda

From www.theroyalgazette.com

French oil company Rubis SA has entered into negotiations with Royal Dutch Shell to purchase from the Shell Company of Bermuda all of its marketing and distribution operations.

Yesterday Phil Burton, country chairman Royal Dutch/Shell Companies Bermuda said: “Royal Dutch Shell received the offer from the Rubis Group to buy a network of 12 retail service stations, distribution assets and facilities, lubricants and liquefied petroleum gas businesses.” The value of the transaction was not disclosed by Shell.

“Shell is studying the offer and a final decision is subject to the approval of shareholders and the Bermuda regulatory authorities,” Mr. Burton said.

Rubis expects the final contract to be signed during the third quarter of 2006 and, if the offer is accepted, Rubis intends to maintain the Shell brand name in the service stations and the existing supply contracts.

The operations concerned represent a volume of $45 million in revenue and $3.6 million in net profit, Rubis said.

In December 2005, Mr. Burton said Shell’s marketing and distribution operations in Bermuda may be sold after the company announced it was holding exploratory talks with companies that could be potential partners or buyers.

“Shell made a decision to look at the possibility of selling the business. The discussions are the outcome of lengthy process,” Mr. Burton said.

Rubis has grown to be one of the largest bulk storage operators in France. Through Rubis Gaz, the company distributes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to retailers as well as propane and butane to residential and commercial customers.

“Backed by an independent logistics base consisting of two major import storage areas for fuels and combustibles and an LPG import terminal, Rubis will be a leading player in Bermuda both in service stations and LPG supply,” a Rubis spokesperson said.

If the contract is signed this deal will expand Rubis’ presence in the region after it acquired Shell’s businesses in the French Antilles and French Guyana.

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