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Essar still in Talks With Shell to Buy Refineries

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By ERIC YEP

MUMBAI — India’s Essar Oil Ltd. Wednesday said it is still in talks with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to buy three refineries in Europe, dismissing a local media report that the two companies had put the negotiations on the back burner.

“Shell and Essar can confirm that they are still in negotiations around the possible sale and purchase of Shell’s three refineries at Stanlow in the U.K., and Heide and Harburg in Germany,” Essar spokesman Manish Kedia told Dow Jones Newswires.

Earlier Wednesday, the NDTV Profit television channel said that the talks were on the back burner as Essar Group, the parent of Essar Oil, is planning to raise $2.5 billion to $3 billion by listing a unit on the London Stock Exchange.

The report said exclusive talks between the companies ended in January and Essar may need the permission of its new institutional shareholders to proceed with the deal talks.

“We will not comment on the detail of negotiations, including timelines,” Essar said in an emailed statement.

Shell didn’t immediately respond to an emailed query.

Write to Eric Yep at [email protected]

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