Last Laugh

May 07, 2010 (LBO) – Laugfs Group, the sole rival of the Sri Lankan unit of Royal Dutch Shell, is keen to buy the multinational’s operations in the island, Laugfs chairman W K H Wegapitiya said. Shell Gas Lanka is the dominant supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Sri Lanka with Laugfs having a smaller share of the market.

Wegapitiya said his company’s representatives were holding talks in London with Shell officials on buying the multinational’s Sri Lankan operations.

“We’re keen on buying Shell’s operation in Sri Lanka and our representatives are holding talks with Shell in London,” Wegapitiya told our sister news website Vimasuma.com.

It was not immediately clear how Sri Lanka’s consumer affairs authority, which regulates domestic gas prices and competition, viewed the development.

The regulator allowed both firm’s to sharply increase the price of gas sold to consumers for domestic use on Thursday.

Shell has said it is in talks with possible buyers and reviewing ownership options for most of its LPG units in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The preferred outcome of the process is the sale of the businesses as going concerns, through a number of p