Irish marketing, distribution and business support services firm DCC Plc (ISE:DCC) said on Friday it had agreed to take over the Benegas liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution business of UK oil and gas major BP Plc (LON:BP).
Under the terms of the deal, DCC will make a cash payment of EUR24.5m (USD31.8m), on a cash-and-debt-free basis, for Netherlands-based BP Gas Nederland BV and the trade and assets of BP’s smaller LPG distribution operation in northern Belgium, both of which trade under the name Benegas.
The purchase of this business comes after DCC bought BP’s British LPG distribution activities as well as the Swedish and Norwegian LPG distribution operations of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA (OSL:SFR). All three deals will boost the scale and geographic scope of DCC’s LPG activities in Europe, its CEO Tommy Breen said.
The new transaction is seen to close in late 2012 after receiving clearance from the Netherlands Competition Authority.
With headquarters in Putten, the Netherlands, Benegas supplies about 55,000 tonnes of bulk, cylinder and aerosol LPG each year to various industrial, commercial and local clients. The business employs 44 people and as at the end of 2011 had adjusted gross and net tangible operating assets of around EUR15.4m and EUR6.7m, respectively. For that same year it generated an adjusted operating profit of EUR4m.
The European Commission said on Wednesday it had given its consent to the deal by oil and gas companies BP plc (LON:BP) in the UK, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) in the US, Italian Eni SpA (BIT:ENI), French Total SA (EPA:TOT) and Angolan Sonangol to take joint control of liquefied natural gas producer and supplier Angola LNG Ltd.
The regulator said it had found no competition concerns regarding the deal as the joint venture is anticipated to have a moderate market share, leaving room for a number of credible competitors in the market of interest for the EC whose ability to access re-gasification terminals will not be changed.
The JV would transform natural gas into LNG which it would then sell to clients around the world for re-gasification.
It would use natural gas obtained as a by-product from oil production and transported along pipelines to its liquefaction plant in Angola.
Although Total, Eni and BP hold capacity rights in re-gasification terminals in the European Economic Area, third party access to these terminals is ensured under the European Union (EU) law, the EC said, adding that the JV deal would not result in any changes in the competitors’ ability to access gas import infrastructures.
Based on all these findings, the EC concluded that competition in Europe will not be affected by the transaction, it said.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2007, Chevron would have 36.4% in the JV, Sonangol would hold 22.8%, Eni 13.6%, Total 13.6%, and BP 13.6%.