Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state-owned energy company, offered to buy out shipping unit MISC Bhd. in a deal worth 8.8 billion ringgit ($2.8 billion).
Kuala Lumpur-based Petronas, as the company is known, said it would pay 5.30 ringgit per share in cash for the remaining 37 percent stake it doesn’t already own in the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas shipper, according to a stock exchange filing today. That’s a 19 percent premium over its last price of 4.45 ringgit, a level last seen in April 2012.
“The offer represents a significant step by Petronas to take MISC private and obtain full control of the company,” the state energy company said in a separate statement on its website. “That will provide Petronas with greater flexibility in deciding MISC’s strategic direction.”
Petronas is making the offer after seeing MISC’s share price slide 46 percent over the past two years as it booked losses and exited the liner industry. It shuttered its container-ship business last year to focus on LNG tankers after the cargo-box unit made $789 million of losses over three years due to global overcapacity and falling rates.
MISC’s Kuala Lumpur listing status won’t be maintained if the buyout is successful, Petronas said. A separate offer won’t be made for MISC’s 67-percent subsidiary Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd., it said.
MISC operates the world’s second biggest fleet of LNG ships after Qatar Gas Transport Co., according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.