Finweek English Edition - - Companies & markets - GUGU­LAKHE MASANGO

COM­PAN­HIA Mozam­bi­cana de Ga­so­duto SARL (CMG), owned by the Mozam­bique gov­ern­ment, has fi­nally ex­er­cised its op­tion to buy a 25% stake in Repub­lic of Mozam­bique Pipe­line In­vest­ments Com­pany (Rom­pco), owned by SA’s largest fuel maker, Sa­sol Group.

Rom­pco op­er­ates and main­tains the cross-border pipe­line that trans­ports nat­u­ral gas from the Te­mane cen­tral pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity to the gas net­work at Sa­sol’s Se­cunda, Mpumalanga, plant.

“The deal has been sealed, and fi­nanc­ing is ex­pected to be com­pleted soon,” said Sa­sol spokesman Jo­hann van Rheede.

This deal has re­sulted in Sa­sol’s share­hold­ing in Rom­pco drop­ping to 50%. Asked if CMG could in­crease its stake to a ma­jor­ity share­hold­ing, Van Rheede, said: “CMG owns 25%, which is the max­i­mum of their op­tion.”

At June 2005, Sa­sol had a 100% in­ter­est in Rom­pco, but the fol­low­ing month it sold 25% to South African Gas De­vel­op­ment Com­pany – owned by the SA Gov­ern­ment. Sa­sol sold the stake for R595m, re­al­is­ing a R205m profit.

The agree­ment al­ways was that the SA and Mozam­bi­can gov­ern­ments would each own 25% of Rom­pco.

Mean­while, Van Rheede con­firmed that dis­cus­sions were con­tin­u­ing with po­ten­tial bid­ders for Sa­sol Olefins & Sur­fac­tants.

Sa­sol an­nounced its in­ten­tion to sell the busi­ness two years ago, ex­clud­ing its

comonomers ac­tiv­i­ties in SA. The group said a rig­or­ous process had been fol­lowed to pre­pare the busi­ness for sale.

“Sa­sol en­vis­ages com­plet­ing the di­vest­ment of its Olefins & Sur­fac­tants busi­ness within this fi­nan­cial year end­ing June 2007, sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory and other ap­provals,” said Van Rheede.

Sa­sol has said since 2005 that the sale of Olefins & Sur­fac­tants is sub­ject to an ac­cept­able sell­ing price be­ing at­tained. It has also said it’s com­mit­ted to the strate­gic and op­er­a­tional goals of the busi­ness and will pro­vide the sup­port nec­es­sary to main­tain its ef­fec­tive­ness and suc­cess. The com­pany’s as­sets were val­ued at R11,8bn at 30 June 2006.

It’s likely that a private eq­uity firm will snap up Olefins & Sur­fac­tants.

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