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Platts: Shell’s proposed refinery sale to Petroplus pegged at $875 mil

Singapore (Platts)–2Aug2007

Royal Dutch Shell has signed a letter of intent for the possible sale of two of its French refineries with a combined capacity of 220,000 b/d to Switzerland-based independent refiner Petroplus for $875 million, the oil major said Thursday.

The sale, which is part of Shell’s ongoing strategic review of a number of its refining and petrochemicals assets, includes the Petit Couronne and the Reichstett Vendenheim refineries, and associated infrastructure and businesses.  

Shell and Petroplus will discuss detailed terms, including developing a processing arrangement for the production of specialty products such as lubricants, with a view to agreeing and concluding a potential sale during 2008, the company said.

The sale would be subject to staff consultation and regulatory approval. Shell said it will be “working closely with the appropriate trade unions and staff representatives as it has been doing since the announcement to review the ownership of the assets was made in January 2007.”  

The sale price has been agreed at $875 million, including about $400 million of working capital.

Shell said it plans to continue serving its customers in France in a range of businesses including retail, commercial road transport, lubricants, LPG, aviation and bitumen.  

“The deal is consistent with our strategy of ‘more upstream, profitable downstream,’ where we aim to focus and simplify the portfolio of the downstream business to those areas that give us the best returns and allow us to use capital to invest in growth markets,” said Rob Routs, Executive Director, Oil Products and Chemicals, Royal Dutch Shell. 

In addition to the Petit Couronne and Reichstett Vendenheim refineries, Shell owns the Berre-l’Etang refinery complex in France, which is not part of the deal with Petroplus.

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