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Bloomberg: Petroplus Pays $475 Million for Two Shell Refineries (Update1)

By Kristian Rix and Fred Pals

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) — Petroplus Holdings AG, a Swiss oil refiner, agreed to buy two French refineries from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for $475 million to profit from higher demand for fuels. The shares jumped the most in six months.

The refineries, Petit Couronne and Reichstett Vendenheim, have a combined capacity of 239,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, Zug, Switzerland-based Petroplus said in a statement distributed by Business Wire today. The company expects the purchase to be completed in the second quarter of next year.

Led by Chief Executive Officer Tom O’Malley, Petroplus has bought refineries including BP Plc’s Coryton refinery for $1.4 billion and one in Ingolstadt, Germany, from Exxon Mobil Corp., as the world’s largest oil companies trim their European refining networks to concentrate on more profitable regions.

The price is “exceptionally low,” James Neale, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in London, said in a note.

Shares of Petroplus jumped as much as 10 percent in Zurich. They traded up 7 percent at 125.10 francs at 11:38 a.m. local time, giving the company a market value of 8.5 billion Swiss francs ($7.1 billion).

O’Malley said in the statement that the acquisition would be “meaningfully accretive to earnings per share, cash flow positive from day one.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Kristian Rix in Madrid at [email protected] ; Fred Pals in Amsterdam at [email protected]

Last Updated: August 2, 2007 05:40 EDT

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