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Chile's Enap, Partners Team Up To Bid For Shell's Local Unit

SANTIAGO -(Dow Jones)- Chile's state-owned oil and gas company Empresa Nacional del Petroleo's joint venture with Peru's Romero Group, in conjunction with local businessman Alvaro Saieh, aims to purchase Royal Dutch Shell PLC's (RDSB.LN) Chilean unit, a person close to the matter said Friday, confirming local newspaper reports. "There is interest in buying Shell's assets. It would be an alliance between Enap, the Romero group and [Chile's] Saieh; we believe the purchase would create synergies," the person said. The sale of Shell's Chilean unit, which holds an approximately 17% market share, will likely cost $500 million, local newspaper La Tercera reported. The Luksic family, which controls U.K.-listed copper-mining company Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN, ANFGY), U.S.-listed beverage company Compania Cervecerias Unidas SA (CCU, CCU.SN) and Banco de Chile (BCH, CHILE.SN), is also reportedly bidding for Shell's Chilean assets. A spokeswoman for the Luskic family declined to comment. Enap, as the state-owned energy company is called, supplies about 80% of Chile's fuel needs and exports refined products to Peru, Ecuador and Central America. Saieh owns local bank CorpBanca (BCA, CORPBANCA.SN) and the Supermercados Unimarc SA supermarket chain. -By Anthony Esposito, Dow Jones Newswires; 56-2-715-8929;

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