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Brussels, 4 November 2010

Merger: Commission clears proposed acquisition of controlling stake in Shell Aviation Ireland by Irish oil company Topaz

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control by Topaz Energy Group Limited of Ireland over Shell Aviation Ireland Limited (SAIL), currently wholly-owned by Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell Group). The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

SAIL markets aviation fuels in Ireland and is wholly owned by Asiatic Petroleum Company Dublin, a holding company that belongs to the Shell Group. Shell Group is active in the worldwide exploration, production, and sale of oil and natural gas, the production and sale of oil products and chemicals, power generation, and the production of energy from renewable sources.

Topaz is an independent Irish oil company that sells petroleum products in Ireland. It also owns import and logistics assets in Ireland connected with the marketing and distribution of fuels and petroleum products.

The Commission examined in particular (i) the horizontal overlap between the activity of SAIL and Topaz on the market of ex-refinery sales of aviation fuels in Ireland and (ii) the vertical relationship between Topaz's activity on the upstream market for ex-refinery sales of aviation fuels and SAIL's activity on the downstream market for into-plane services at Dublin and Cork airports.

The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction would not close off the market to competition and does not raise vertical concerns, due to the existing business relationship between Topaz and SAIL and the presence of large suppliers on the markets.

The proposed transaction was notified to the Commission for regulatory clearance in the EEA on 28 September 2010. More information on the case will be available at:

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