Vitol, Helios in talks for Shell's Africa downstream businesses

THE VITOL GROUP confirmed that it is in exclusive negotiations with Shell Oil Products Africa for the potential acquisition of equity in their downstream businesses in 19 countries in Africa, subject to final negotiations and any necessary regulatory and final company approvals.

Vitol's potential acquisition of equity will be in partnership with Helios Investment Partners, a major investment firm focusing on Africa and one of the few independent pan-African private equity investment firms to be founded and managed by Africans.

The scope of the negotiations is Shell's downstream businesses (Retail, Commercial Fuels, Lubricants, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Bitumen, Aviation and Marine) in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt (excluding lubricants), Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Cape Verde, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana (excluding LPG), Namibia, Madagascar, Mauritius and La Reunion.

The scope of the business includes 1300 retail sites, retail sales of around 3,500,000 cu m, and 1,200,000 cu m of terminal storage. There are around 2500 employees currently employed in the various businesses in the 19 countries.

Under the terms of the exclusivity agreement, Shell will not be holding discussions with any other third party other than Vitol and Helios for the time being. In addition, under the scope of a potential deal between the three companies, it is envisaged that Shell would retain a shareholding and the Shell brand would remain across all marketing businesses, including retail and lubricants. With the exception of Egypt, Shell's lubricants businesses in all 19 countries would also be in scope.

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