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Nipco launches $16m offer for Mobil Oil shares

Nipco Plc has launched a N4 . 84 bn offer for the shares it needs to take its stake in Mobil Oil to 70 per cent to comply with Nigerian takeover rules , its advisers said on Wednesday .

Nipco ’s investment subsidiary bought 60 per cent of Mobil Oil Nigeria from Exxon Mobil Corporation in October, when the US giant pulled out of downstream fuel distribution in Nigeria .

Nipco , which was founded in 2001 , now owns 66 .7 per cent of the fuel retailer , according to an offer document seen by Reuters .

It is offering minority shareholders N417 .12 per share for the 3 .23 per cent of the capital , or 11 . 6 million shares , it needs , the same price it paid Exxon last year and a 75 per cent premium to Wednesday ’s market price of N 238 .36 .

The offer ends on June 29 .

Shares in Mobil Oil have lost 10 per cent this year , giving the company a market value of N85 .95 bn . The shares rose 74 per cent last year .

The downstream oil industry in Nigeria is consolidating as multinational oil firms divest to focus on upstream exploration with higher margins , especially given the backdrop of lower crude prices .

Nigeria exports nearly two million barrels of oil a day but imports the bulk of its refined products because its refining capacity is unable to meet the country ’s daily fuel needs of 40 million litres .

Mobil Oil rival, Oando , has now shifted away from being a fuel distributor to explore for oil and gas. It sold a 60 per cent stake in its downstream business last year to Vitol and Helios Investment Partners for $ 210 m.

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