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Shell Sells N.Z. Fuel Retailing for NZ$697 Million

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By Gavin Evans

March 29 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc has agreed to sell its New Zealand downstream assets to Infratil Ltd. and the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation for NZ$696.5 million ($492 million.)

The purchase, which remains conditional on funding and regulatory approval, will be funded with NZ$420 million of equity and a NZ$600 million banking facility, Wellington-based Infratil said in a statement to the New Zealand stock exchange.

Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, is selling its New Zealand fuel retailing and refining interests as part of a global strategy to focus on oil and gas production in expanding markets. It agreed in November to negotiate exclusively with the Infratil-led venture on the sale of the group’s 229 filling stations, port terminals and a 17 percent stake in New Zealand Refining Co.

Shell’s decision to sell was a “once in a generation” opportunity, Infratil Managing Director Marko Bogoievski said in the statement. “The goal from here is to continue to provide high-quality fuels at competitive prices and to leverage the benefits of a New Zealand owned and managed downstream business.”

Shell has operated in New Zealand for 97 years and began exploration there in 1955. It is retaining its oil and gas assets, which include stakes in the nation’s Maui, Kapuni and Pohokura gas fields.

New Zealand Superannuation is a government pension fund.

–Editors: Tracy Withers

To contact the reporter on this story: Gavin Evans in Wellington at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Iain Wilson at [email protected]

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