Exxon Mobil to sell some Europe gas stations: paper

PARIS Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:55am EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has put 78 French gas stations on the block, part of a wider effort to sell out of such activities in Europe following similar moves in the United States, financial daily Les Echos reported on Friday.

The newspaper quoted Esso France Chief Executive Francis Duseux as saying there could be an agreement on the sale of the French service stations within weeks. Exxon Mobile operates 680 gas stations in France under the Esso brand name, the paper said.

A European steering committee devoted to examining the likely sale of gas stations in Italy, Belgium, Germany and Britain will meet on Wednesday, the paper said, citing an internal source.

Such gasoline distribution activities are seen as too unprofitable to justify tying up Exxon Mobil's capital, the paper said. The stations will likely be sold to operators who would continue to operate under the Esso brand and be supplied through long-term contracts.

In addition to independents, potential buyers for the service stations include Russia's Lukoil (LKOH.MM) and Israel's Delek (DLEKG.TA), the paper said.

Exxon Mobil was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting By Christian Plumb; Editing by Mark Potter)


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