Trafigura is to buy Sonangol’s shareholding in Puma Energy for US$600 million (€498 million), while Puma is to sell its Angolan business to Sonangol, also for US$600 million, consisting of its Pumangol network of service stations, airport terminals and marine terminals.
Puma, which has retail and oil storage businesses in Latin America, Asia and Africa, has been lossmaking since 2018, and has sold a number of assets to try to balance the books. This has included selling its Australian business to Chevron, and selling its Paraguay business to Impala Terminals. The company says that these new deals will enable it to reduce the size of the rights issue, to raise US$500 million from rights already subscribed for by Trafigura and a small number of minority shareholders. It will use the proceeds of the rights issue and the sale of the Angolan business to repay an outstand load from 2018.
‘The recapitalisation and strengthening of Puma Energy’s balance sheet has been a key strategic aim, which will stabilise the company’s finances and underpin investment in our ambitious growth plans. Puma Energy’s values of customer focus, leading by example, collaboration and agility remain as relevant to success as ever. Today’s announcement means we can build on the foundations developed over the past few years and accelerate capital investment to capture the growth opportunities we have identified,’ says René Médori, chairman of Puma Energy.
Amongst the assets to be acquired by Sonangol will be the state-of-the-art Pumangol Fuel Terminal in Luanda (TCPL), which has a capacity of almost 300,000 m3. Sonangol already had a contract with Pumangol to use the terminal, signed in April 2020.
‘The sale of Sonangol’s entire shareholding (31.78%) in Puma Energy and the acquisition of Puma Energy’s assets in Angola represents the achievement of a strategic objective for the company. Today’s news is important because the sale of Sonangol’s holding in Puma Energy has been achieved through a structure that avoids Sonangol’s participation in the recapitalisation efforts in Puma, and represents a solid step towards delivering the company’s privatisation programme, while acquiring a business with valuable assets to its core business,’ says Gaspar Martins, chairman and CEO.
Jeremy Weir, Trafigura’s executive chairman and CEO, adds that the deals demonstrate the company’s confidence in Puma and its future prospects.