ECONOMY

Motor Oil takes over Shell network

Refinery Motor Oil Hellas has agreed to purchase Shell’s 700 gas stations in Greece for 219.1 million euros in a deal that will strengthen its position in the market after rival Hellenic Petroleum recently doubled its presence in the retail sector. Motor Oil, which owns a 550-branch network through its unit Avin Oil, will also acquire Shell’s 137,000-cubic-meter storage depots, lubricant blending operations in Perama, Piraeus, and chemicals storage and distribution business. Also included in the deal, which has yet to be approved by competition authorities, is 49 percent of Shell’s aviation fuel trading company. The gas station network will remain under the Shell brand name for a period of at least six years, the Greek company said in a bourse statement. Motor Oil, Greece’s second-largest refinery, has also agreed to purchase Shell’s LPG operations in Greece for an additional 26.5 million euros, the statement added. Shares in Motor Oil have gained 32.5 percent on the Athens bourse in the last month, with investors expecting news of the deal, versus a 5.07 percent advance on the broader market. The company has a market value of 1.24 billion euros. The deal is seen as strengthening Motor Oil’s position in the retail market after Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) grew significantly in size when it agreed in June to acquire BP’s 1,200 gas stations in Greece, doubling its existing network branch. Brokers described the Motor Oil deal as being a «good price,» given the large quantity of petrol that is sold at Shell gas stations. Shell is divesting itself of its refinery capacity assets and service stations to focus on upstream operations, stages in the oil industry that involve exploration and production. [email protected]