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Shell offloads Gabon assets to US private equity firm Carlyle as part of divestment plan

Friday, March 24, 2017 8:57
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(Before It's News)

Royal Dutch Shell plc (LON:RDSA) (NYSE:RDS.A) has offloaded its onshore oil fields in Gabon to US private equity firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) for US$587mln.

Carlyle-backed Assala Energy will take over nine onshore fields and a network of oil pipelines in the West African country as part of plans to expand in the global oil and gas sector.

Assala will assume a debt of $285mln under the deal, which is expected to be completed in the summer. It will also take on about 430 local Shell employees.

Shell will book an impairment charge of US$53mln after tax for the transaction in the first quarter of 2017.

The oil giant’s decision to sell the business is part of a US$30bn asset disposal programme to help reduce debt following its US$54bn acquisition of BG Group plc (LON:BG) last year.

The disposal in Gabon takes the divestment programme to almost US$21bn. The group hopes to reach its targeted asset sales by 2018.

Shell in January sold North Sea assets worth US$3.8bn to private equity-backed-Chrysaor, which represented half its total portfolio.

The company also disposed of its Canadian tar sands business to Canadian Natural Resources for US$7.2bn earlier this month.

Around the same time, Shell agreed a deal to dismantle its Motiva refinery joint venture with Saudi Aramco following a year of challenging discussions. Shell secured US$2.2bn from Saudi Aramco to break up the joint venture.

Saudi Aramco will keep Motiva’s largest refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, along with 24 distribution terminals, while Shell has taken two smaller refineries in Louisiana.

Shell’s shares dipped 0.67% to 2,083p in London afternoon trade and Carlyle dropped 1.10% to US$15.73 in early US trading.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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