BP has sold its French retail business for €180m (£157m) to Israeli conglomerate Delek Group, the latest move by a major oil company to reduce exposure to low-margin fuel retailing.
BP said yesterday it had entered exclusive talks with Delek’s European unit, after receiving an offer for its 416 French petrol stations. The sale also includes interests or ownership in three fuel distribution depots.
Delek said it paid €10m upon submitting its offer in exchange for exclusivity from BP to negotiate a deal. The trend for big oil companies to divest chunks of their retail operations has been prominent in recent years.
Norway’s Statoil said yesterday it plans to spin off and float its chain of 2,300 petrol stations.
BP’s French retail fuels and convenience business posted a turnover of €875m in 2008.
Completion of the deal is subject to works councils and regulatory approvals, said BP. Under the terms of the deal, BP branding would remain on the forecasts for several years under a licensing agreement and BP would have a supply agreement with Delek.