Blue Equity has finalised the sale of the local Shell dealership for an undisclosed sum to the Rubis Group, a global energy company that also controls Chevron/Texaco operations in most of the Caribbean.
The deal closed at year end 2012.
Blue Equity acquired the Shell Jamaica distributorship last January through its holding company, The Antilles Group Limited (TAG).
"I am quite pleased with TAG's advancement under our ownership and the future international positioning with the Rubis acquisition. This is the perfect transaction for our clients, partners and team members," said Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing director of Blue Equity, in a press release.
Financial Gleaner queries sent to Blue on Wednesday went unanswered up to press time.
The emergence of sale talks last month led the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) industry president Derrick Thompson to question the motives for the rapid offloading. JGRA past president Trevor Heaven also questioned whether the firm "lost its shirt" in the deal - a euphemism for a loss on disposal.
However, flipping investments is part of Blue Equity's strategy. The US-based company previously held the United States' largest Spanish directory publishing company, which it sold to Telmex International in 2003. Then in 2010 it sold its sports management and sports event and television production companies to Lagardère Unlimited.
Blue Equity is an independent, private equity firm investing both growth capital and providing business expertise in enterprises with solid development potential.
Under the deal the Rubis Group will acquire TAG, the licensed user of Shell brands in Jamaica.
Blue Equity purchased controlling interest in Cool Petroleum, the operators of Shell Jamaica, from Neal and Massy Holdings and Cool Corp Limited.
TAG supplies a network of 53 service stations currently operating under the Shell brand. Rubis in a release mentioned that Blue Equity's operation of the fuel distributorship represents some 30 per cent of market share, enough, it said to remain "the undisputed leader in the downstream petroleum-products business on the island".
Blue Equity noted that this acquisition consolidates Rubis' presence in the Caribbean, where the publicly traded company is one of the largest operators of downstream operations in the area of fuel supply.
Since 2000, Rubis has expanded its presence across three continents, both through direct investments and via acquisitions.
Rubis has a significant presence in the Caribbean islands of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and Guyana. Further acquisitions during 2012 included the Chevron assets in The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands.