(Reuters) Global commodities trader Trafigura (TRAFGF.UL) has agreed to buy Angolan state oil giant Sonangol’s 31.78% stake in loss-making Puma Energy for $600 million in a step towards raising its holding to more than 90%.
Trafigura and Puma said in a joint statement on Friday that Puma had also agreed to sell its Angolan business and assets to Sonangol for $600 million, including the Pumangol retail network of service stations, airport terminals and marine terminals.
In another move, Puma, which also has retail and oil storage businesses in Latin America, Asia and Africa, said that its chief executive Emma Fitzgerald, hired three years ago, was stepping down with immediate effect.
It said chief financial officer Andrew Kemp had been appointed as interim CEO of Puma, which last month said it would issue $1.1 billion of new stock to strengthen its finances.
Trafigura’s stake in Puma is expected to rise above 90% from 55% currently, including the effect of the rights issue. This marks the end of a long-standing link between Puma and Angola which was established by Trafigura founder Claude Dauphin.
Angola was a major cash generator for Puma for years until the central African country’s currency tumbled and the government froze fuel prices in 2018.
A change in administration also saw the end of Trafigura’s effective monopoly on fuel imports. read more
Puma, which has been loss-making since 2018, has been selling assets in an effort to stay afloat. read more
These transactions will allow Puma to reduce its rights issue to $500 million. Combined, they will allow Puma to repay an outstanding 2018 loan, the statement said.
Puma’s minority shareholders are Angolan firm Cochan Holdings and its employees.
Sonangol said in a statement the deal, which will take 6-8 months to complete, was in line with its strategy of optimising its portfolio of assets and focusing on its core business.