Saudi Aramco to acquire Valvoline's lubricants business for $2.65bn

The deal is expected to close in late 2022 or early 2023

Saudi Aramco agreed to buy Valvoline's lubricant unit for $2.65 billion. Reuters
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Saudi Aramco on Monday said it will acquire Kentucky-based motor oil maker Valvoline's lubricants business for $2.65 billion as the Dhahran-based company seeks to expand its operations and partnerships.

The oil major signed an equity purchase agreement to acquire Valvoline's Global Products business, the companies said on Monday.

The deal, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in late 2022 or early 2023.

Aramco will benefit from the unit's manufacturing and distribution network, significant research and development capabilities, strong partnerships with major manufacturers and global brand recognition as it pursues opportunities to extend the brand globally, it said in a statement.

"Valvoline’s global products business fits perfectly with Aramco’s growth strategy for lubricants as it will leverage our global base oils production, contribute to our R&D capabilities and strengthen our existing relationships with OEMs [original equipment manufacturers]," said Mohammed Al Qahtani, Aramco's senior vice president of downstream.

Aramco, the world's largest oil-exporting company, will pay for the acquisition with cash, Valvoline said in a separate statement.

"The sale of Global Products will represent the successful outcome of our strategy to unlock the full, long-term value of our strong but differentiated Retail Services and Global Products businesses," said Sam Mitchell, Valvoline's chief executive.

"We have built two leading businesses that are well-positioned for continued success as they pursue their individual strategic priorities."

The move comes after Valvoline said in October that it planned to separate its Global Products and Retail Services units.

Once the deal closes, Valvoline will become a "pure-play automotive service provider" with a targeted earnings per share (EPS) growth of more than 20 per cent, it said.

The company plans to use an estimated $2.25bn in net cash proceeds from the Global Products sale to accelerate return of capital to shareholders, reduce debt and invest in the Retail Services business, it said.

Once the deal closes, Valvoline would own its brand name for all retail services globally, excluding China and certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa, while Aramco will own the Valvoline brand for all products uses globally.

Valvoline will procure motor oil and related products from the Global Products business through a long-term supply agreement, it said.

Valvoline’s Retail Services unit operates quick-lube service chains, while its Global Products segment sells lubricants and other automotive and engine-maintenance products to automotive retailers and OEMs.

Updated: August 01, 2022, 1:18 PM
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