The Dutch oil and natural gas company, Shell, has decided to pull the plug on the vast majority of its business interests in Denmark.
The 100-year-old company has listed all of its petrol stations for sale in the light of the deficits that it has incurred in Denmark over the past couple of years.
“It’s a strategic decision by Shell not to invest further into markets that yield losses,” Regitze Reeh, Shells head of communication, told Børsen business newspaper.
The difficult petrol station market was made worse recently with the liberalisation of the opening hours law,’lukkeloven’, which allowed traditional shops to take over much of the trade that occurred at the stations.
Looking for a buyer
“It’s a combination of a declining oil and gas-product market in Denmark and that Shell has a structure too complicated to function optimally on the Danish market,” Reeh said. “Our business is a better fit for larger markets.”
Reeh went on to say that the selling process was still at an early stage, but Shell intends to sell everything – petrol stations and refineries – collectively, perhaps to a buyer who keeps running the business under the Shell brand name.
Shell, which sold off its assets in Sweden and Finland back in 2010, employs 450 people in its refinery in Fredericia and its head office in Copenhagen.