1 March 2011

Vitol Group and new global partnerships – De Brauw advises

De Brauw recently advised Vitol, one of the world’s largest independent energy trading companies, on three key M&A transactions. The first transaction concerned the sale of 50% of Vitol’s global petroleum products terminal business to leading shipping line MISC Berhad.

The transaction raised USD 735 million for Vitol, while creating a leading joint venture between MISC Berhad and the Vitol Group. The deal was completed in September 2010.

In January 2011, Vitol Group acquired London-based Carbon Resource Management (CRM). Vitol had held 23.7% equity in CRM since 2007 and this acquisition gave Vitol full ownership. CRM is an acknowledged global leader in partnering companies that wish to develop and monetise carbon assets. CRM developed the first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in China – also the first wind power CDM project in the world – and currently has a portfolio of over 45 million tonnes and over 200 CDM projects in progress. On this deal De Brauw acted as co-lead counsel to Vitol, together with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP.

In the same period, De Brauw advised Vitol on its USD 1 billion acquisition of Shell’s downstream businesses in 19 African countries, in a consortium with Helios Investment Partners. The agreement was announced in February 2011, and includes the creation of a joint venture with Shell to hold the downstream business, and the entry by the joint venture into a number of credit facilities. The joint venture will own Shell’s retail, commercial fuels, lubricants, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), bitumen, aviation, and marine activities and will continue to operate under the Shell Brand. De Brauw’s cross-practice team acted as Dutch counsel to Vitol Holding B.V. and Helios Investment Partners.

Team: Ernest Meyer Swantée, Ferdinand Hengst and René Clumpkens