China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, plans to sell nearly 30 percent stake in its retail unit to a group of 25 investors for about 107.1 billion yuan (US$17.5 billion), Wall Street Journal reported.
China’s largest oil refiner was quoted as saying Sunday that it will retain 70.1 percent of the retail unit, Sinopec Sales, after the transaction. Sinopec Sales operates more than 30,000 gasoline stations and 23,000 convenience stores across the country, and also has 80 million gas-card holders.
The sale represents a premium of 20 percent to the unit’s book value, according to the report. No single investor will own more than 2.8 percent stake in the unit.
More than half of Sinopec’s 25 new investors are incorporated in China, with the rest incorporated offshore but ultimately related to Chinese entities, the report said.
The investors come from a diverse range of industries, including life insurance, technology and appliance making. One investor is a fund that counts Internet firm Tencent among its shareholders.
The announcement caps a process that began in February, when Sinopec said it was following directives laid out in November as part of China’s major overhaul plan, which called for private companies to play a larger role in a mixed-ownership economy.
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