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CNNMoney: ExxonMobil, Shell Study Strategic Alternatives For Infineum

October 19, 2007: 06:02 AM EST

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC ( RDSB.LN) are studying strategic alternatives for their lubricants additives joint-venture Infineum International Ltd, ExxonMobil said.

Two people familiar with the process said one of the options considered could be a sale.

“ExxonMobil and Shell are undertaking a study of strategic alternatives for the Infineum additives joint venture,” an ExxonMobil spokeswoman said in an e- mail late Thursday.

“At this stage the study is ongoing and no decisions have been made,” she added.

Shell and Infineum spokespeople didn’t return calls.

One person familiar with the business said it could fetch several billion dollars and attract the interest of private equity funds.

ExxonMobil and Shell said the joint-venture had an annual revenue of $1.5 billion when they announced its formation in 1996. It’s unclear what the revenue is today.

Headquartered in Milton Hill, U.K., and with regional business and technology centres in the U.S. and Singapore, Infineum markets lubricant additives used primarily in automotive, heavy-duty diesel and marine engines.

Oil majors Shell and ExxonMobil are seeking the divestment of non-core assets as they focus on large refineries and giant oil and gas exploration and production projects.

The other potential divestments include another ExxonMobil-Shell joint- venture, BEB Transport and Speicher Service GmbH, which manages a gas pipeline in Germany, the people familiar with the matter said.

-By Benoit Faucon, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9266; [email protected]

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  10-19-07 0602ET
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