Royal Dutch/Shell reiterated its interest in Unipetrol‘s refinery assets in order to expand its Czech refinery operations, Reuters reported yesterday. Shell is however uninterested in Unipetrol’s petrochemical part. It declined to comment whether it still plans to bid for the state’s 63% stake in Unipetrol or whether it would only seek to raise its stake in Ceska rafinerska, Unipetrol’s 51%-owned subsidiary. Recall that the IOC consortium (Agip, Shell and ConocoPhilips), which owns 49% in Cra, has an option to buy the rest of Cra when ownership of Unipetrol changes. Shell's indicative bid stood at CZK 11-13bn.
Note also that binding bids should be submitted by April 23. Shell would reportedly cooperate with the Kazakh KazMunaiGaz if it won the tender.
Jan Hájek, Patria Finance