Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising Dutch trading company Vitol Group on a $2.6 billion acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell plc.’s refining and retail businesses in Australia.
Rotterdam-based Vitol will buy Shell’s Geelong refinery and 870 service stations, along with its bulk fuels, bitumen, chemicals and part of its lubricants businesses in Australia. The deal will not include Shell’s Australian aviation fuel business and Brisbane-based lubricating oil blending plants.
The deal is part of a $15 billion divestment of downstream assets Shell is shedding as part of a plan to focus on its main businesses of energy exploration, development and production. Assets put for sale will also include refineries in the U.K., France, Norway and Germany as well as retail assets in Egypt, Spain, Greece, Finland and Sweden.
Vitol teamed up with sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council, outbidding a consortium led by Macquarie Group Ltd. and Glencore Xstrata plc.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in 2014.
London partners Shaun Lascelles and Doug Nordlinger are leading a team at Skadden advising Vitol. Gilbert + Tobin Sydney partner David Clee is serving as Australian counsel to Vitol.
Clifford Chance London partner Kathy Honeywood, Singapore partner Geraint Hughes and Perth partner Tracey Renshaw are leading a team advising Shell. Shell’s legal team is led by Malaysia-based in-house counsel Damis Shaharudin.