Cosmo Oil to Buy Sojitz Energy to Expand Sales Network in Japan

Cosmo Oil Co., a Japanese refiner partly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, agreed to buy the petroleum-product sales unit of Sojitz Corp. for an undisclosed amount to expand its domestic sales network.

The refiner will increase its stake in Sojitz Energy Corp. to 97.23 percent from 0.15 percent by the end of January, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement. Cosmo is assessing the impact of the acquisition on earnings, according to the statement.

The acquisition will help Cosmo achieve economies of scale in supply and logistics and give it access to Sojitz Energy’s customers. Cosmo plans to buy the stake from shareholders including JX Holdings Inc. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., Director and Senior Executive Officer Hisahi Kobayashi told reporters in Tokyo today. He declined to comment on how much the refiner will pay for the stake.

Cosmo posted a first-half loss of 79 billion yen ($983 million) on the extended shutdown of its Chiba refinery. Sojitz Energy, which operates 47 gas stations and distributes products to 158 wholesalers, had a net income of 53 million yen in the year ended March 2012, Sojitz said in a May 8 statement. That compares with a 155 million-yen loss a year earlier, according to the Japanese trading company.

Cosmo Oil rose 0.7 percent to 148 yen at the close in Tokyo today, while Sojitz declined 1.9 percent to 101 yen. The benchmark Nikkei-225 Stock Average fell 0.5 percent.

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