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DALLAS -- ExxonMobil Corp. may be hanging a for sale sign on its Esso gas station chain in Germany.
According to Fuel Fix, sources familiar with the process said the chain could sell for more than $1.3 billion. German Esso includes more than 1,100 gas stations across the country. The oil company is in preliminary talks with multiple parties, two or three of which may be from Russia or Eastern Europe, sources said. No final decision on a sale has been made.
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has divested almost one-third of the company's gas stations during the past four years to exit markets where fuel demand is stagnating or declining. The company instead has turned its investment focus to higher-profit oil wells and chemical production, according to the report. ExxonMobil's global portfolio of owned or leased filling stations fell to 7,753 as of Dec. 31, 2011, from 11,446 at the end of 2007, a company statement showed.
In 2010, ExxonMobil agreed to sell its downstream activities in Austria to Italy's Eni SpA (ENI). That deal included a retail network of 135 service stations. In March 2011, Exxon sold Argentine assets including a refinery and gas stations to Bridas Corp., the oil company part-owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp., Fuel Fix reported.
An ExxonMobil Central Europe spokeswoman, Gabriele Radke, declined to comment on any possible sale.