Adnoc, Aramco said to mull bids for Shell South Africa assets

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24th May 2024

By: Bloomberg


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Abu Dhabi National Oil and Saudi Arabia’s state oil producer Aramco are among companies weighing bids for Shell’s downstream assets in South Africa, according to people familiar with the matter.

South Africa’s Sasol is separately considering an offer for the business, which could be valued at more than $800 million, the people said. Commodity trading giant Trafigura Group’s Puma Energy subsidiary and Glencore are also among potential suitors that may study the assets ahead of a bid deadline in the coming weeks, according to the people.

Deliberations are in the early stages and other bidders could also emerge, the people said. A Shell spokesperson said that the company has been approached “by several highly credible parties,” without naming the bidders.

A spokesperson for Adnoc’s listed retail arm, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for Distribution PJSC, said the company regularly reviews opportunities for domestic and international growth and declined to comment further. Representatives for Glencore, Puma Energy, Sasol and Trafigura declined to comment. A spokesperson for Aramco didn’t respond to queries.

Shell said earlier this month that it would sell the rest of its fuel-supply businesses in South Africa, after shutting its Sapref oil refinery in Durban — the biggest in the country — in 2022. The divestment includes aviation, marine, construction and road, trading and supply, commercial fuels, and lubricant operations, it said. The company has a network of 600 service stations across the country, according to its website.

A deal would follow last year’s sale of a controlling stake in Engen Ltd., South Africa’s largest gas station chain, to a unit of trading house Vitol Group.

Adnoc and Aramco have both been active in international dealmaking recently. Adnoc announced deals for stakes in two liquefied natural gas export projects this week — including its first foray into the US — and has set out a strategy to expand its international gas, chemicals and clean-energy operations. Its listed service stations and retail unit Adnoc Distribution has expanded into Egypt and wants to grow further in the Middle East and Africa.

Aramco, meanwhile, bought fuel distributor Esmax Distribucion SpA in Chile last year and Valvoline Inc.’s petroleum business in 2022 as the world’s biggest oil exporter expands its downstream and retail presence globally.

Edited by Bloomberg


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