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Vitol, Helios and Shell reach agreement on African downstream businesses

Vitol today announced that, in partnership with Helios Investment Partners, it has agreed to purchase the majority of Shell’s shareholding in most of their downstream businesses in Africa for a total consideration of some $1 billion. Under the agreements, two new joint venture companies will assure continued availability of Shell fuels and lubricants in 14 African countries under the Shell brand.

“We are delighted to have concluded this agreement with Shell and Helios,” said Ian Taylor, President and CEO of the Vitol Group. “Africa is a continent we know well. These two new ventures allow us to invest in Africa and its fast-growing economies, and grow all the businesses under the umbrella of the world-class Shell brand for the benefit of our customers.”

“We are pleased to enter into this landmark agreement with our partners, Shell and Vitol,” said Tope Lawani, Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners. “We believe that combining Vitol’s world class supply expertise and Helios’ deep understanding of the African operating environment with the Shell brand and a highly professional workforce will create significant new growth opportunities for the business, and will ensure the continued supply of high quality products and services for African consumers.”

“This is a good deal for our customers as well as for Shell,” said Mark Williams, Royal Dutch Shell’s Downstream Director. “We will significantly reduce our capital exposure in line with our strategy to concentrate our global downstream footprint, and continue to provide the high quality Shell products that our African customers have come to trust and rely on over many decades.”

One joint venture will own and operate Shell’s existing oil products, distribution and retailing businesses in 14 African countries, with the potential to add five more in future. Vitol and Helios will hold 80% of the venture and Shell will hold the remaining 20%. A separate company, which will be 50% owned by Shell and 50% by Vitol and Helios, will own and operate Shell’s existing lubricants blending plants in seven countries and will manage macro-distributor relationships in each of the countries where the main venture operates, plus a number of others.

Vitol, Helios and Shell will now concentrate on securing necessary regulatory approvals and integration planning, ahead of a phased completion of the proposed deal during 2011 and the first half of 2012.

Notes to Editors:

The deal covers existing Shell downstream businesses (Retail, Commercial Fuels, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Lubricants, Bitumen, Aviation and Marine) in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt (excluding lubricants), Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Cape Verde, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar and Mauritius. Shell’s downstream businesses in Namibia, Botswana, Togo, Tanzania and La Reunion are under review for potential inclusion in the deal at a later date.

Shell’s fuels, lubricants and refining activities in South Africa, the company’s lubricants business in Egypt and its exploration and production businesses, liquefied natural gas interests and most international trading activities in Africa are not part the proposed deal.

The Vitol Group was founded in 1966 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Since then the company has grown significantly to become a major participant in world energy markets and is now one of the world’s largest independent energy traders. Its trading portfolio includes crude oil, oil products, LNG, natural gas, coal, power, metals and carbon emissions. Vitol trades with all the major national oil companies, the integrated oil majors and the independent refiners and traders. Globally Vitol trades over 5.5 million barrels of crude oil and products per day.

In addition to its trading business, and its 50% share in the storage and terminals business, VTTI, with 11 terminals on five continents, Vitol has an exploration and production business which includes interests in Ghana, Cameroon, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan. It also currently owns and operates over 100kbd in refining assets. Further details on Vitol are available on www.vitol.com

Helios Investment Partners is an Africa-focused private investment firm. Helios operates a family of funds and their related co-investment entities, aggregating more than $1.5 billion in capital commitments, pursuing a full range of investment types, including business formations, growth equity investments, structured investments in listed entities and large scale leveraged acquisitions across Africa. The firm also managed the $110 million Modern Africa Fund on behalf of a range of investors which included the U.S. government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation and several leading U.S. corporations.

Established in 2004 and led by co-founding partners Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, Helios is one of the largest investment firms focusing on Africa and is among the few independent pan-African private equity investment firms to be founded and managed by Africans.

Helios’ portfolio companies operate in more than 25 countries, and in various industrial sectors, across the African continent. The firm has significant experience in private equity investing across a broad range of industries and investment types – leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, joint ventures, seed-stage venture capital, restructurings, and strategic public equity investments.

Limited partners in Helios’ funds include several leading global investment funds, endowments and foundations, family offices, high net-worth individuals and development finance institutions, the latter of which include the UK’s CDC, the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Further details on Helios Investment Partners can be found at www.heliosinvestment.com

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 90 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com

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