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Shell Agrees To Sell Majority Stake In Most Africa Donwstream

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) Monday agreed to sell a majority stake in much of its African downstream to Vitol Holding BV and Helios Investment Partners for around $1 billion, as it trims non-core assets.

Oil-products businesses are generally considered of less importance to oil majors than oil and gas exploration and production assets.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant will sell 80% in fuels and lubricants assets in 14 African countries to oil trading giant Vitol and Africa-focused private investment firm Helios and keep the remaining 20%.

A separate company, which will be 50% owned by Shell and 50% by Vitol and Helios, will own and operate Shell’s existing lubricants blending plants in seven countries.

Shell said Vitol and Helios will now concentrate on securing necessary regulatory approvals and integration planning, ahead of a phased completion of the proposed deal during 2011 and the first half of 2012.

By Benoit Faucon and Zechariah Hemans, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9266; [email protected]

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