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REUTERS: EU clears Basell to buy French refinery from Shell

Mon Feb 4, 2008 10:35am EST

BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Privately held Basell [BASL.UL] won permission from the European Commission on Monday to buy the Berre-l’Etang refinery in France from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) for $700 million.

Basell is a large, European plastics maker and provider of proprietary petrochemical process technologies. Berre-l’Etang, in southern France, is relatively small with a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day.

“Given the parties’ limited position on all the upstream and downstream markets, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not strengthen either the parties’ incentive or their ability to close off the market to competitors,” the European Union’s top competition regulator said in a statement.

The refinery makes petrochemical products including naphtha, jet fuel, gasoline, heating oil, bitumen, fuel oil and gasoil. Basell will also buy the infrastructure associated with the refinery, including pipelines and terminals. (Reporting by David Lawsky/Dale Hudson)

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