Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) said it has reached an agreement with Shell for the acquisition of shares in the companies containing Shell's retail, supply and distribution logistics and aviation businesses in Italy. The KPI said in a release received by KUNA that it had signed the agreement following the obtainment of necessary approvals from relevant authorities. Shell distributes and markets petroleum products in Italy through a retail network of more than 800 outlets, mainly located in Northern Italy supported by an efficient logistic structure. The retail network will be converted to the Q8 brand, the KPI said. In the aviation business, Shell operates in the most important Italian airports supplying aviation fuels. Commenting on the agreement, President of Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) Bakheet Al-Rashidi said: "This operation is of great importance as it confirms our interest in Europe and the confidence that the Kuwait Petroleum International Group has in the Italian oil market". Managing Director of Kuwait Petroleum Italia SpA Alessandro Gilotti said: "This operation represents a major step forward in strengthening Kuwait Petroleum's competitive position in the Italian oil market capitalizing on the combination of Kuwait and Shell's commercial and logistics assets and the synergies deriving from the integration of the two companies and their cultures." He added: "Thanks to this operation Kuwait Petroleum will be able to deploy a highly professional workforce which will constitute the foundation of a company positioned to compete successfully in the Italian oil market over the long term."