TotalFinaElf service station sell off gets green light

The European Commission (EC) has finally approved the latest list submitted by TotalFinaElf SA of buyers for those service stations in France it had to divest on anti-competition grounds following its merger with Elf Aquitaine SA. The original list, submitted in September, had been rejected by the EC on the grounds it did not allow for sufficient competition on the country's highway network.


PARIS�The European Commission (EC) has finally approved the latest list submitted by TotalFinaElf SA of buyers for those service stations in France it had to divest on anti-competition grounds following its merger with Elf Aquitaine SA. The original list, submitted in September, had been rejected by the EC on the grounds it did not allow for sufficient competition on the country's highway network.

Seventeen of the total 70 service stations being sold off are going to supermarket chain Carrefour. Italy's Agip SPA should get 21 stations, the independent distributor Avis 21, Royal/Dutch Shell Group will get 4, as will ExxonMobil Corp., while BP PLC will have 3.

Still to be divested is the liquefied petroleum gas company Antargas, which formerly belonged to Elf. It is understood that Antargas will be taken over by a consortium made up of the banking group Paribas SA's industrial affairs sector, the US-based LPG distributor UGI Amerigas, and Italy's Medit SPA, an LPG land carrier and logistics company, bringing a number of outside players into France's LPG market.

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