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Vivo Energy agrees to $2.3bn buyout by Vitol

Vivo Energy on Thursday said it had agreed to be taken over by Dutch commodities trader Vitol Investment in a deal worth around $2.3bn.
The cash and dividend deal will see Vivo shareholders get $1.79 for each share they hold, plus six cents as a combined interim and special dividend, the companies said in a joint statement.

“Fuels distribution and marketing in Africa remains a core activity for the Vitol Group,” Vitol, which already holds 36% of Vivo, said. It will also buy out Helios, the second largest shareholder..

“The Vitol Group will continue to support Vivo’s management and its strategy, and believe that Vivo will benefit from Vitol’s expertise and be better placed to pursue opportunities in a highly fragmented market.”

Vitol is looking to take full control of the distributor of Shell- and Engen-branded fuels in Africa.

Vivo was founded after Shell divested some of its downstream business in 2011. Vitol, Helios and Shell operated Vivo as a joint venture before the two top shareholders bought out Shell for $250m in 2016.

Vitol had engaged with Helios on many occasions in recent years to buy Helios’ 27.1% stake. The duo finally agreed on the $1.79-a-share price – a premium of about 25% to the stock’s Wednesday close.

“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,” Vitol Head of Origination Chris Bake said.

Founded in Rotterdam in 1966, Vitol has about 6,600 retail sites on four continents.

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