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Utilities circle Exxon, Shell gas storage sites-sources

REUTERS

AMSTERDAM/STUTTGART, Sept 15 (Reuters) – At least two utilities are eyeing the German gas storage assets of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L), valued at up to 1 billion euros ($1.30 billion), people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

German power utility EnBW (EBKG.DE) is one of the contenders and is in talks with Antin Infrastructure Partners, a fund backed by BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), about submitting a joint offer, sources familiar with the negotiations said.

“EnBW is interested. They are checking and exploring the offer as other interested buyers are,” said one of the sources close to EnBW.

France’s GDF Suez (GSZ.PA), which owns stakes in two of the gas storage sites and is the technical operator of three of them, is also in discussion with the oil majors about acquiring the assets, two other people familiar with the matter said.

Spokespeople for Shell, BEB, EnBW and Antin declined to comment. A GDF Suez spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The enterprise value of the storage sites for sale is estimated between 500 to 700 million euros and could reach 1 billion euros if the cushion gas needed to keep them operational is factored in, sources have previously told Reuters.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Hendrik Sackmann; Additional reporting by Nina Sovich in Paris; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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