UPDATE 1-Brazil regulator approves Cosan, Shell partnership

Wed Dec 5, 2012 11:11am EST

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SAO PAULO Dec 5 (Reuters) - Brazil's antitrust regulator approved a joint venture between the sugar, ethanol and fuel distribution assets of milling group Cosan SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Wednesday.

The two companies originally announced the multi-billion dollar union of their Brazilian assets in 2010, later dubbing the joint venture Raizen in early 2011. In Brazil, partnerships, mergers and acquisitions are announced long before they are approved or denied by regulators.

The deal was approved at a session of the antitrust governing body, Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (CADE).

Cosan is Brazil's biggest sugar and ethanol group and had a strong foothold in fuel distribution before the partnership with Shell. Cosan had purchased Exxon Mobil Corp's Esso fuel distribution assets in Brazil in 2008.

The agreement to combine the firms' assets and resources extends beyond Brazil.

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