Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image Private Equity Expresses Interest In Shell’s Infineum -Source

March 10, 2008: 08:23 AM EST

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- At least one private equity firm has expressed interest in a lubricants joint-venture put on the market by Royal Dutch Shell PLC ( RDSB.LN) and ExxonMobil PLC (XOM), a person familiar with the matter said.

The news comes as the two owners -which each control 50% through units- said Monday they would be discussing the possible sale of the venture, Infineum, with several potential buyers.

Shell and ExxonMobil last year started to look at a sale of the venture as a possibility. But they said Monday that “no divestment decision has been made.”

Shell’s head of downstream Rob Routs and the oil major’s advising bank, JP Morgan, have received at least one expression of interest from a private equity firm, the person said. A formal process for the possible sale is due to start next month, the person added.

Infineum had a net annual turnover of $1.53 billion in 2006, up 20%, according to its latest available filings.

It had booked $659.3 million in assets as of the end of 2006, with interests in Europe, the Americas, Saudi Arabia and China.

Shell declined to comment and ExxonMobil didn’t return a request for comment.

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

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  03-10-08 0823ET
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