by Joseph Afam
LAGOS, Aug 23 – Nigerian fuel distributor Nipco Plc has bought another 3.23 percent stake in 11 Plc, the fuel retailer formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria, for 4.84 billion naira ($16 million) to increase its holding to 70 percent.
Nipco’s investment subsidiary in October bought 60 percent of Mobil Oil Nigeria from Exxon Mobil Corp., when the U.S. giant pulled out of downstream fuel distribution in Nigeria.
Having amassed a stake of almost 67 percent, it wanted to increase that holding to around 70 percent. Under Nigerian takeover rules, it had to offer the same price of 417.12 naira per share to minority investors.
The downstream oil industry in Africa’s biggest economy is consolidating as multinational oil firms sell out to focus on higher margin exploration and production following a drop in crude prices.
Nigeria exports nearly 2 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 Nigeria was founded in 1951 and operates more than 200 petrol stations in the country. It also owns three plants that manufacture lubricants, petroleum jelly, and insecticides in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.