Today it was announced that my new company, Merica International, has acquired Shell’s stake in Choren Industries. This is something we have been actively pursuing for some time. This transaction gives Merica a great deal more flexibility than we had previously.
The primary reason for the acquisition is that it gives us freedom to pursue the projects we want to pursue. While I have the greatest respect for Shell, our interests obviously would not always align with theirs. We are first and foremost a bioenergy company, and that is not their core business.
Further, if Choren wanted to make any major capital expenditures, it hinged on getting Shell’s agreement. As Shell is in a major cost-cutting mode, a lot of the projects we want to pursue could have been potentially impacted. Shell Fischer-Tropsch technology will still be used in Choren’s Freiberg BTL facility, but future decision-making will be simplified.
Here are excerpts of the story from Reuters:
HAMBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has sold its shareholding in German second-generation biofuels company Choren, Choren said on Thursday.
Choren is building Germany’s first biofuels plant using new generations of non-food raw materials as feedstock and is likely to start initial commercial production in 2010.
Shell had sold its minority shareholding to other shareholders which comprise German vehicles groups Volkswagen and Daimler plus a consortium of investors largely from the Hamburg region, Choren said in a statement.
Merica is within that “consortium of investors”, and is in fact the majority shareholder of the company now.