Chevron Seeks Buyers for 75% Stake in South African Unit

  • Sale would be part of divestiture plan announced in 2014
  • Chevron rebalancing global assets, business priorities

Chevron Corp. said it was considering selling its 75 percent stake in its South African unit.

Chevron has made a decision to solicit expressions of interest for the stake, a sale that would form part of a three-year asset divestment program announced in 2014, the San Ramon, California-based company said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday.

“This demonstrates Chevron’s continuing focus on balancing our global portfolio with our long-term business priorities,” Mark Nelson, Chevron’s president of international products, said in the statement.

Chevron’s South African unit operates a 110,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Cape Town, a lubricant plant in the eastern port city of Durban and markets its products through more than 845 Caltex filling stations, according to its website.

Chevron rose 2.3 percent to $80.79 at 12:51 p.m. in New York.

Laura Sweeney, a company spokeswoman, declined to give a time frame for the asset sale or to say which companies have expressed interest.

Today’s crude market, which has fallen 75 percent over the past 19 months, necessitates such a deal, Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis, wrote Thursday in an e-mail.

"All companies are having to rationalize their operations and exit any location or business where there is limited scale or potential in a lower price environment," he wrote. "It is small, but a sign of the times."

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