The Wall Street Journal: Shell Group Bids $4.14 Billion for Refinery: Tupras to Remain In Turkish Hands, As Koc Bid Wins: "A consortium led by Koc Holding AS of Turkey and including Royal Dutch Shell PLC fended off eight other bidders in a hotly contested privatization auction for control of Tupras, Turkey's 500,000-barrel-a-day refiner. The winning bid of $4.14 billion (€3.34 billion) defied even the most optimistic expectations": Tuesday 13 September 2005
By MICHAEL WANG
A consortium led by Koc Holding AS of Turkey and including Royal Dutch Shell PLC fended off eight other bidders in a hotly contested privatization auction for control of Tupras, Turkey's 500,000-barrel-a-day refiner.
The winning bid of $4.14 billion (€3.34 billion) defied even the most optimistic expectations which, ahead of the auction, had reckoned with a final price tag closer to $3 billion.
The Koc-Shell group faced its strongest competition from a joint venture comprising state-owned Indian Oil Corp. and Turkey's Calik Enerji Sanayii, as well as OYAK, an industrial conglomerate representing a Turkish Army officers' pension fund.
The winning consortium comprised two Shell units -- Shell Co. of Turkey Ltd. and Shell Overseas Investment BV -- together holding 10%; Koc, one of Turkey's biggest industrial conglomerates, with 80%; and two smaller Turkish energy companies, Aygaz AS with 7% and Opet Petrolculuk AS with the remaining 3%.
The win by the Koc-Shell consortium represents a best-case scenario for the government as it keeps majority control of Tupras in Turkish hands. Shell's minor involvement lends it credibility.
Erol Memioglu, president of Koc's energy business, said he wanted to see Tupras grow further. "We aim to develop Tupras into a key player in the Mediterranean region," he said.
The 90-minute auction, broadcast on television live from Ankara, saw the elimination of several top European oil-companies, including Italy's Eni SpA, Austria's OMV AG, Poland's PKN Orlen and Hungary's MOL Rt., as well as a clutch of Turkish bidders.
Global oil demand has accelerated since early last year on the back of the fast-growing Chinese and Indian economies, soaking up virtually all excess refining capacity and increasing the value of refineries.
Shell spokeswoman Susan Shannon said the acquisition complements the company's strategy in Turkey, where it is the second-biggest gasoline retailer, with about 600 service stations and a market share of around 15%.
--Marek Strzelecki and Benoît Faucon contributed to this article.
Write to Michael Wang at email@example.com
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