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Bloomberg: Macquarie, Babcock May Bid for Shell-Exxon Venture, People Say

By Ambereen Choudhury and Thom Rose

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Deutsche Bank AG’s RREEF infrastructure fund are among firms that may bid for a German gas storage and transport network owned partly by Exxon Mobil Corp., said five people involved with the proposals.

BEB Transport & Speicher Service GmbH, a joint venture between Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, may fetch at least 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion), said the people, who declined to be identified because the bidding is confidential. Credit Suisse Group is assessing offers, the people said. Babcock & Brown Ltd., an Australian investment bank, may also bid, they said.

The network connects the Netherlands and Denmark with German cities including Hamburg and Berlin. BEB also has a gas storage site near the Dutch border. Oil companies such as Shell and Exxon Mobil are selling off peripheral energy businesses to focus on exploration, production and refining as crude trades at records.

“BEB is an interesting asset for companies with networks in the region,” said Peter Wirtz, an analyst at WestLB Equity Markets in Dusseldorf. “It could help consolidate the market.”

BEB, based in Hanover, Germany, operates an approximately 3,100 kilometer (1,927-mile) transmission system. It also has underground storage facilities with a capacity of more than 2 billion cubic meters of gas, according to its Web site.

Gabriele Radke, an Exxon Mobil spokeswoman in Hamburg, declined to comment.

“We have no further developments regarding BEB,” said Andre Romeyn, a Shell spokesman in The Hague.

Jack Grone, a spokesman for Credit Suisse in London, declined to comment, as did officials for the potential bidders. 

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