Irish conglomerate DCC plc, the parent company of Certas Energy, has agreed to buy Butagaz S A S, a leading liquefied petroleum gas business in France, from Shell for €464m (£338m).

DCC said the transaction would be its largest ever acquisition and a major step forward in the continuing expansion of its LPG business. The French LPG market is the second largest in Western Europe and approximately twice the size of the market in Britain.

Butagaz has a market share of 25% and is the leading LPG brand in France. The acquisition would increase the scale of DCC’s LPG business from approximately 700,000 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes.

Tommy Breen, chief Executive of DCC plc, said: “The acquisition of Butagaz represents a major step forward in DCC’s ambition to build a very significant presence in the global LPG market. As the leading LPG brand in France with a strong heritage and reputation for customer service, Butagaz is an excellent strategic fit for DCC Energy’s existing LPG business.

“We very much look forward to welcoming the Butagaz management and employees into the DCC Group. DCC and Butagaz share similar ambitions and together we are excited by the opportunity to grow and develop the Butagaz business and brand.”

Shell said the transaction was consistent with its strategy to concentrate its downstream footprint on a smaller number of assets and markets where it can be most competitive, and is part of an on-going exit from the LPG business globally.

The transaction is expected to complete in the final calendar quarter of 2015.