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Clifford Chance advises Shell on agreement to sell Shell´s downstream business in Australia to Vitol

22 February 2014

Clifford Chance advises Shell on agreement to sell Shell´s downstream business in Australia to Vitol

International law firm Clifford Chance has advised Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) on the binding agreement to sell Shell's Australia downstream businesses (excluding Aviation) to Vitol for a total transaction value of approximately A$2.9 billion (US$2.6 billion).

The sale covers Shell's Geelong Refinery and 870-site retail business - along with its bulk fuels, bitumen, chemicals and part of its lubricants businesses in Australia. It also includes a brand licence arrangement and an exclusive distributor arrangement in Australia for Shell Lubricants. It does not include the Aviation business, which will remain with Shell Group, or the lube oil blending and grease plants in Brisbane, which will be converted to bulk storage and distribution facilities.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in 2014.

The Clifford Chance team was led by partners Kathy Honeywood (London), Geraint Hughes (Singapore) and Tracey Renshaw (Australia). Clifford Chance advised on all aspects of the transaction, providing integrated English and Australian law advice as well as specialist environmental, IT, branding and IP, tax, employment, pensions, and antitrust advice.

Clifford Chance has advised Shell on a number of other significant recent mandates, including its US$4.4 billion acquisition of part of Repsol's LNG portfolio, and the sale, announced yesterday, of Shell's retail, supply and distribution, logistics and aviation businesses in Italy to affiliates of Kuwait Petroleum International.

Shell's legal team was led by Damis Shaharudin of the Downstream Portfolio group.

The deal team also included Sze-Shing Tan and Anton Trixl (Singapore); Michael Lishman, Amelia Horvath, Robyn Glindemann, Clive Lumsdon and Deniz Tas (Australia); and, from London, Grace Yuen (Corporate), Nigel Howorth and James Shepherd (Environmental), Vanessa Marsland, André Duminy and James Plummer (Branding/IP, IT, Commercial Contracts), David Harkness and Lisa Barningham (Tax); Chris Goodwill and Chinwe Odimba-Chapman (Employment); Hywel Robinson and Matthew Preston (Pensions). Dave Poddar (Australia) and Richard Blewett (China) provided antitrust advice on the transaction globally.