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Shell sells Africa businesses to Vitol, Helios

Feb 19, 2011 2:07 PM GMT+0000

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC has entered into a $1 billion agreement to sell a majority share of most of its downstream businesses in 14 African countries to the Vitol trading company and Helios, an African investment company.

The announcement by the three companies says two joint new ventures will be created. One, to be 80 percent owned by Helios and the Netherlands-based Vitol, will continue supplying the Shell brand of fuels and lubricants in the 14 countries, with five more nations possibly joining later.

A separate company, 50 percent owned by Shell, will operate Shell’s existing lubricants blending plants in seven countries and will manage distributor relationships.

The companies said Saturday the deal is to be completed in phases by the first half of 2012.

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