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Daewoo Ship Buys Angola Shipyard Stake to Tap Rising Exploration in Africa

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in an Angolan shipyard, its first investment in an African shipbuilder, as oil drilling off the continent’s coast spurs demand for rigs.

The Korean shipbuilder and Porto Amboim Estaleiros Navais Limitada’s existing owners, Sonangol Holdings and SBM Offshore NV, plan to invest around $100 million in the Angolan yard by 2012 to add more piers and a 2,000-ton crane, Daewoo said today in an e-mailed statement. It didn’t say how much it would pay for the stake.

Daewoo has expanded in Africa as oil companies explore new areas to meet rising global energy demand. Total SA, Eni SpA and Exxon Mobil Corp. have all invested in Angola, helping turn the country into Africa’s second-biggest oil producer since the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002.

“The investment will help us obtain an advantage to win offshore projects in the West Africa region,” Daewoo said in the statement.

Sonangol Holdings, controlled by Angola’s state-owned oil company, will hold 40 percent of the yard after the investment, Daewoo said. SBM Offshore will own 30 percent.

Daewoo already has a shipping venture with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. In July, it reached a preliminary agreement to buy 49 percent of Impinda, a shipping company owned by Khulubuse Zuma, the nephew of South African President Jacob Zuma.

The shipyard gained 4.1 percent to 30,400 won at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Seoul, the biggest advance since Sept. 27. The stock has climbed 74 percent this year, the third-best performer among 50 top companies on South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index.

The company also has a ship-block plant in China, shipbuilding ventures in Romania and Russia and is building a ship-repair yard in Oman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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