(Bloomberg) -- Trading giant Vitol Group agreed to buy Vivo Energy in a deal valuing the fuel retailer at about $2.3 billion.
The deal will bring Vivo assets back in house for the oil trader, which sold shares in the retailer in 2018 in what was one of the biggest initial public offerings on the London Stock Exchange that year. The offer shows Vitol is willing to spend to find outlets for its traditional fuels amid the energy transition.
Vitol, which already owns 36% of Vivo, will pay $1.85 a share in cash, the trading house said Thursday in a statement. No. 2 investor and co-founder Helios Investment Partners also supports the deal, Vitol said.
The world’s biggest independent oil trader is searching for areas of growth in its oil trading business as Western consumers gradually shift to electric vehicles and cleaner fuels. The company handles more than 7 million barrels of oil and products a day.
“Fuels distribution and marketing in Africa remains a core activity for the Vitol Group,” it said in the statement. “Vivo will benefit from Vitol’s expertise and be better placed to pursue opportunities in a highly fragmented market.”
Vivo sells Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants across more than 20 countries in Africa. Its stock jumped as much as 26% in Johannesburg after the announcement.
“Since we founded Vivo with Helios and Shell, we have believed in the business’ potential and we are excited to have it within the Vitol family, as a pillar of our strategy in Africa,” Chris Bake, head of origination at Vitol, said in the statement.
(Updates with Vitol comments starting in third paragraph.)
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.