The move will see ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha being sold to the oil giant's Japanese partner, TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K. in a deal worth around $3.9bn. TonenGeneral will take a 99% stake in the business, while Exxon will reduce its overal share in TonenGeneral from 50% to just 22%.
ExxonMobil said it expected the restructuring to be "seamless" and that existing contracts would remain unchanged, with the current management remaining in place until the deal is completed in mid-2012.
The restructuring, which ExxonMobil claims will "result in a single, integrated downstream business better positioned to meet Japan’s energy needs", is another indication of the continuing trend that has seen many of the major oil producers - such as ConocoPhillips and Marathon - creating a clearer separation, or hiving off entirely, their downstream activities from upstream exploration.
ExxonMobil will retain a presence in Japan though specialist chemical production, marine lubes, LNG marketing and other upstream partnerships.
Published 9th February, 2012
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