DCC Energy to buy French business from Shell

Caitlin Morrison
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DUBLIN-BASED investments group DCC saw its shares surge yesterday, after the company’s energy division announced a €464m offer for Shell’s Butagaz liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in France.

The deal would mark the largest acquisition DCC has ever made, and would increase DCC Energy’s LPG business from around 700,000 tonnes to 1.2m tonnes. According to DCC, Butagaz accounts for 25 per cent of the French LPG market.

DCC will partly fund the deal through a £197.4m that completed yesterday afternoon.

Chief executive Tommy Breen said he was “excited” about the Butagaz deal, and added that the French business is “very cash generative”.

Breen said movements in the oil price had very little impact on DCC’s day-to-day business, but added that the company had seen the benefits of the recent trend of oil majors deciding to sell non-core assets.

Aside from Shell, the firm has bought assets from BP, Total and Esso.

Meanwhile, DCC, which also operates in the technology and healthcare sectors, reported an 8.1 per cent increase in pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 March, up to £163.3m from £151m the year before.

Revenue dipped by four per cent, from £11.1m in 2014 to £10.6m, and the company said that lower oil prices drove DCC Energy’s revenue down by 7.5 per cent.

Gert Zonneveld at Panmure Gordon said the group’s prospects “remain excellent”.

Shares in DCC were up by 12.85 per cent yesterday, while Shell’s shares were down slightly by 0.55 per cent.

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