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Thai refiner to buy stakes in Shell units


October 14, 2008

Thai refiner to buy stakes in Shell units
Thailand's top refiner, Thai Oil, said on Monday it would spend $120 million on acquiring stakes in units owned by Royal Dutch Shell as part of its drive to enter the solvents business, reported Reuters.

It has signed an agreement to buy a controlling 80.52 percent stake in Sak Chaisidhi Co. Ltd, a unit of Shell Overseas Investments, as well as solvents businesses in Thailand and Vietnam owned by Shell, it said in a statement.

"The acquisition is in line with the company's plan to expand into the business, which has sustainable growth, and into foreign markets," Managing Director Viroj Mavichak was quoted as saying.

Thai Oil, nearly half owned by top energy firm PTT, would set up a new subsidiary to buy the stakes, expected to be completed in December and early 2009, Viroj said.

SAKC operates a hydrocarbon solvents manufacturing plant in Map Tha Phut Industrial Estate in the eastern province of Rayong. SAKC has capacity of over 80,000 tonnes per annum, with the focus on supplying hydrocarbon solvents to the local market in Thailand.

The solvents businesses of Shell in Thailand and Vietnam are mainly focused on their respective local markets, with key customers in paint, rubber and agricultural chemical industries, it said.

Thai Oil operates a 275,000 barrel-per-day refinery and runs paraxylene petrochemical and lubricant businesses via subsidiaries.

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