BP looking to sell its German fuel station chain Aral for $2.6 billion

British oil giant, BP is looking to sell its German fuel station chain Aral for as much as $2.6 billion, a German magazine reported over the weekend.

German magazine Wirtschaftswoche, citing unidentified investment bankers familiar with BP's plans said that Total of France, Avia International, an independent chain of fuel-filling stations in Europe, and Russia state owned oil giant Rosneft were the potential buyers.

The magazine also reported that Rosneft is likely to be interested in BP's two German refineries.

Aral is Germany's largest operator of fuel stations having some 2,400 Aral-branded filling stations having a market share of about 24 per cent. Aral fuel stations also have convenience and fast food stores and are Germany's fourth largest fast food chain.

In 2002, BP's wholly owned German subsidiary Deutsche BP AG acquired Veba Oel, including Aral from E.ON as part of a larger deal with the German energy group.

In 2004, BP rebranded its own gas stations in Germany under the Aral name since 98 per cent Germans were familiar with the Aral brand.

The London-based BP also operates the second largest refinery system in Germany, which is located at five sites, Gelsenkirchen, Lingen, Schwedt, Karlsruhe and Bavaria.

Most of its refineries in Germany operate under the name of Ruhr Oel GmbH, an equal joint venture between BP in Germany and Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.