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Dominican tycoons join to buy embattled Shell’s stake in refinery

The process to sell the Shell Company’s shares in the Dominican Petroleum Refinery (Refidomsa) advance with several proposals, which involve Dominican as well as foreign business groups.

A newspaper has confirmed that a partnership by Dominican and Barbadian entrepreneurs made an offer, which apparently had the best response. The group reportedly includes the powerful Dominican families Peynado, Vicini, Corripio and Martí, whereas foreigners are the Group Sol, of Barbados, which owns the same corporation that acquired Shell’s businesses in Puerto Rico.

It was learned that in the negotiations with Shell Carlos Jose Martí represents the Dominican companies headed by Juan Bautista Vicini, Jose Luis Corripio Estrada and Jacinto Peynado Jr. The Anglo-Dutch oil firm holds 50% of the shares in the Dominican Petroleum Refinery, and the Dominican State the other50%. It manages the facility and will also sell its fuel trucking companies and Distribuidora Shell, which runs the gas stations. It had previously sold a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributor.

"The Dominican group formed to acquire Shell’s assets is novel in the country. Among its main members is the new enterprise group in which would figure the family Vicini, Jose Luis Corripio Estrada (Pepín) and the family Martí, the latter among the large liquefied petroleum gas distributors. The Corripio Group has its own gas distributor. Vicini, apparently, has investments in the multinational Shell.

The Vicini family is very close to Holland’s queen Sofía, one of the large investors in the multinational," informed a popular Web site. Last month Shell confirmed the decision to sell, as part of its reengineering at the world level, including the sale of its Refidomsa shares and its other businesses in the country. (