Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the world's third largest oil company by market value, has agreed to buy RWE's stake in a German gasoline venture at least a year ahead of schedule for $2 billion in cash and assumed debts.
Shell will take total ownership of the company, Shell & DEA Oil GmbH, as of July 1st, rather than between mid-2003 and mid- 2004 as planned earlier, RWE spokesman Bill McAndrews said. RWE, which is Europe's third largest utility, will get a cash payment of $1.35 billion next year.
Energy companies are revamping their holdings in Europe's biggest economy and severing ties with each other amid increased competition. E.ON completed the sale of its German filling station business to Shell rival BP earlier this month.
“This underscores our strategy of focusing on our main businesses” of electricity, natural gas and water, said McAndrews in a telephone interview.
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