Royal Gazette (Bermuda): Shell may sell local operations: “Shell is in exploratory talks with potential partners or buyers of the oil giant’s marketing and distribution operations in Bermuda.”: “At this stage some decisions have already been taken, for example Shell is remaining in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Central America and divesting its fuels businesses in Venezuela, Peru and some of the Caribbean Islands.”: Posted Wednesday 7 December 2005
By Robin Holder
Shell is in exploratory talks with potential partners or buyers of the oil giant’s marketing and distribution operations in Bermuda.
Parent company Royal Dutch Shell has been restructuring its Caribbean and Latin American operations for the past year and has already divested many of its businesses in the Caribbean islands.
Phil Burton, country chairman Royal Dutch/Shell Companies Bermuda said yesterday that a final decision had not been taken on whether the Bermuda operations would be sold, but the company was in “exploratory” talks.
“Shell Group has an active strategic portfolio management programme, which includes the Americas, excluding the USA,” he said. “At this stage some decisions have already been taken, for example Shell is remaining in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Central America and divesting its fuels businesses in Venezuela, Peru and some of the Caribbean Islands.
“While a final decision has yet to be made as to whether or not Shell’s fuel businesses in Bermuda will be sold, I can confirm that we are holding exploratory talks with companies we believe could be potential partners or buyers.
“Obviously the identities of these companies and the details of the discussions are confidential. If any further decisions are taken we will inform all relevant stakeholders as soon as is practical.”
If Shell is sold or forms a partnership with a new entity Mr. Burton said Shell will still have a presence on the Island because of its exempted company business.
Shell, one of two oil companies on the Island with Esso, supplies fuel to gas stations, many of which are run under franchise-type agreements, and also supplies jet fuel to the airport.
Former Shell Bermuda general manager Robert Stewart said: “As a board member of Shell I have known about the discussions for a long time.”
He remained tight-lipped about the identity of the potential buyers or partners and had no other comment to add but said: “It will go ahead if a satisfactory agreement is reached.”
In November, 2004, Royal Dutch/Shell Group agreed to sell its oil product businesses in Barbados, St. Lucia, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts & Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Grenada, St. Vincent, Antigua, Dominica, Belize, Guyana and Suriname to the Sol Group (Sol), a petroleum affiliate of the Interamericana Trading Corp.
The agreements related to Shell’s retail, commercial, local marine and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) businesses and included 111 retail service stations and 30 distribution depots across the region.
Under the agreement, Sol continued to use the Shell brand and acted as the sole distributor of Shell’s fuels and lubricants in this region.
Shell also sold its operations in Jamaica and Trinidad to other buyers.
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