This excerpt taken from the PBR 6-K filed Apr 3, 2006.
Petrobras concludes acquisition of Shell's Paraguayan merchandizing and distribution business
(Rio de Janeiro, March 31, 2006). PETRÓLEO BRASILEIRO S/A - PETROBRAS, [Bovespa: PETR3/PETR4, NYSE: PBR/PBRA, Latibex: XPBR/XPBRA], a Brazilian international energy company, announces that on March 30 it concluded the acquisition of Shell's merchandizing and distribution business in Paraguay, with respect to the fuel operations (retail and commercial market). The acquisition includes the service stations together with the convenience stores throughout Paraguay, the LPG merchandizing assets and the installations for the sale of aviation fuels at Asuncion and Cidade Del Este airports.
As from March 30, the service stations under the Shell banner will be operating under Petrobras' responsibility. The changeover from the Shell to the Petrobras brand name will be concluded within 18 months. Within in this period, all service stations will have been converted to the Petrobras design and livery. The service stations' customer relationships will be maintained in order to maximize the business potential in Paraguay,
Petrobras will maintain existing employee benefits and will continue to provide employment to Shell's entire labor force in the country.
Paraguay is geographically strategic to Petrobras given its proximity to Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. The logistical boost provided by this acquisition presents excellent growth potential as well as possibilities of capturing synergies in conjunction with Petrobras' existing Southern Cone assets.
This operation is in line with Petrobras' Strategic Planning objectives of consolidation as an integrated energy company with a strong international presence and as a leader in Latin America.