Irish firm DCC Energy has made an offer of €464m (£332.3m) to buy Butagaz, the French Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) company owned by Royal Dutch Shell.
Shell announced the offer in a press release, adding that it would now consult with the individual staff councils of Shell France and Butagaz. The offer will be subject to approval from financial regulatory bodies, although it is believed that any takeover would be completed before the end of the year.
The Anglo-Dutch firm, which produces such industrial lubricants as Shell Omala S2 G 320 and Shell Tellus S2 M 46, cited the reason for selling the French business as down to its:
“…strategy to concentrate its downstream footprint on a smaller number of assets and markets where it can be most competitive.”
The company added that the move was “part of an on-going exit from the LPG business globally”.
The news follows previous sales of some of Shell’s retail concerns in Norway and Britain, as well deals to sell refineries across Europe. The Anglo-Dutch company’s share price withstood the announcement well, falling just 0.15% with the breaking news, and Shell confirmed its other French businesses will continue to function as usual.
DCC Energy claimed that the deal will make it Europe’s third-biggest LPG distributor, increasing its operations to around 1.2 million tonnes. DCC is already the UK’s leading distributor of oil to petrol stations, and the takeover represents the firm’s largest acquisition to date in its bid to improve its share of the European LPG market.