ExxonMobil agrees to sell majority Nigerian stake to local firm

LAGOS – US oil group ExxonMobil has agreed to sell its majority stake in its Nigerian marketing and retail arm to a local firm, the Nigerian affiliate said on Thursday.

Mobil Oil Nigeria (MON), one of three affiliates of ExxonMobil in the oil-rich country, informed the stock exchange of the move. Financial details of the sale were not revealed.

“Mobil Oil Nigeria (MON) plc has been informed by its majority shareholder, Exxon Mobil Corporation, that the shareholder has agreed to sell shares representing 60 percent of Mobil Oil Nigeria, to Nipco Investments,” MON, a quoted company, said in a statement it filed with the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.

The two companies have signed an agreement for the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, a senior NSE official told AFP.

Nipco managing director Venkataraman Venkatapathy, in a statement, hailed the acquisition as “an important synergy.”

“We are confident of adding tremendous value to MON and likewise MON will add a huge value to Nipco,” he said.

Nipco will maintain the Mobil brand on its retail outlets and continue to sell the Mobil brand of lubricants under licencing agreements, he added.

ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company.

MON is its downstream arm in Nigeria, one of six major petroleum products companies, with over 200 retail outlets across the oil-rich west African country.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude producer until recently when it was overtaken by Angola, has seen a drop in output and revenue because of renewed unrest in the Niger delta.

Crude-dependent Nigeria is in recession as the economy has been hammered by low crude prices since mid-2014.

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