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Shell NZ Plans To Sell Most Downstream Assets – Exec

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

MAY 12, 2009, 7:22 A.M. ET

(Adds details of asset sale plan)

WELLINGTON (Dow Jones)–Shell New Zealand Ltd., a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Group (RD), has appointed UBS AG to help it sell the bulk of its downstream assets in the country, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

UBS will start calling for expressions of interest in the next two weeks, and the outcome of the sale process will probably be known within three to four months, Jackie Maitland, manager for communications at Shell NZ told Dow Jones Newswires.

“We are taking the review forward with the appointment of UBS. No buyer has been identified, and we are some months away from knowing if the sale proceeds,” she said.

Shell New Zealand late last year said it was conducting a review of its downstream business as part of a strategic review of its global businesses.

All of the downstream businesses, with the exception of its 36% stake in construction and roadworks company Fulton Hogan, will be put up for sale, Maitland said. The book value of the assets on sale wasn’t disclosed, but Maitland said the combined revenue of Shell’s downstream businesses totaled NZ$2.9 billion in 2007.

The company’s downstream assets include 230 fuel stations, a marine business, commercial fuel and aviation operations, a 17% stake in New Zealand Refining Co. (NZR.NZ) and a 25% stake in Loyalty NZ.

Its distribution network, part of the downstream businesses, includes terminal facilities throughout New Zealand.

Maitland said Shell, which accounts for more than 50% of New Zealand’s natural gas production and a big proportion of the country’s oil production, won’t sell its upstream businesses.

The upstream businesses comprise a 50% stake in the Kapuni field, an 84% stake in Maui gas field and a 48% stake in Pohokura field – all of them located in the country’s North Island.

-By Shri Navaratnam, Dow Jones Newswires; 64-4-471-5990; [email protected]

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