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Effective 1 February 2002, BP has acquired a 51% stake in Veba Oel AG and at the same time taken operational control of Veba Oel group, part of which are Aral AG & Co KG and Veba Oil Refining & Petrochemicals GmbH (VORP).
By means of the majority shareholding and by taking operational control of Veba Oel, BP and E.ON implement the first step of an agreement announced July 2001. In a second step E.ON can decide to put its remaining 49% share in Veba Oel to BP. This can be done on 1 April 2002 at the earliest.
For the meantime, in Germany the legal structures of Deutsche BP AG, Veba Oel AG, VORP GmbH and Aral AG & Co. KG remain unchanged. The supervisory bodies have determined the new positions of both the board and managing directors of the companies on 7/8 February, 2002 and have taken the necessary decisions:
Board of Management Deutsche BP AG
Board of Management Veba Oel AG
Board of Management Aral AG & Co. KG
Geschäftsführung VORP GmbH
To symbolize and represent externally the close cooperation of Deutsche BP, the Veba Oel group and other BP activities in Germany despite the legally unchanged structure, Wilhelm Bonse-Geuking, in addition to his commitments as chairman of the board of management of Veba Oel AG and as member of the board of management of Deutsche BP AG, will be the "Country President", the national representative of the BP Group in Germany.
Through BP's taking operational control, BP's globally successful organisational structure of business units will be applied to the joint activities with Veba Oel group as well. In business units, business activities are grouped, strategically directed and accounted for which can be managed operationally in different countries or companies.
For its new joint business with Veba Oel group in Germany and Europe, BP has established these new business units:
"Retail Germany Business Unit" will comprise the retail businesses of BP and Aral in Germany and Luxembourg. Business Unit leader will be Dr. Uwe Franke who will succeed Günter Michels as chairman of the board of management of Aral AG w.e.f. 1 April 2002.
"Central and Eastern Europe Retail Business Unit" will comprise the retail businesses of BP and Aral in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and in Moscow. Business Unit leader will be Lutz Feldmann.
The "German Manufacturing Business Unit" comprises the activities of Veba Oel Refining & Petrochemicals GmbH (VORP) which essentially comprises the assets of Ruhr Oel, managed by VORP. Ruhr Oel GmbH is a 50/50 joint venture by VORP and Petroleos de Venezuela. Besides that, VORP owns the operative management of Erdölraffinerie Emsland, wholly Veba Ole owned, at Lingen. This Business Unit is led by Dr. Walter Thünker.
"European Business Marketing Business Unit" comprises the business-to-business Commercial Fuels business and the business-to-consumer Light Heating Oil business. The Business Unit leader will be Ronnie Forbes.
The inclusion of Veba Oel group activities substantially strengthens BP's position in Germany, one of the most important European and international markets, both in the oil business and in the chemicals business. Parallel steps in Austria and Poland as well as in other countries of central and eastern Europe - in some of which regulatory approvals are still outstanding - underline BP's strategic intent to be one of the leading mineral oil companies in Europe. Fuel sales of BP's European retail network will be about 36m cbm. BP's retail network in Germany will be Aral branded as soon as E.ON has sold the remaining 49% of Veba Oel to BP.