BP Sells Africa Assets As Reshaping Of Company Continues
By James Herron Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
LONDON (Dow Jones)–BP PLC (BP) said Monday it has sold its fuel marketing businesses in several African countries for $296 million, the latest in a program of $30 billion of asset sales that will reshape the troubled company in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
BP’s stakes in fuel marketing operations in Malawi, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia were sold to a subsidiary of oil trading house Trafigura, although partners in Malawi and Tanzania have pre-emption rights. BP had announced in March before the Macondo spill that it was looking to divest the operations.
BP has made more than $14 billion of divestments since the Deepwater Horizon explosion triggered the spill in April, most of them non-core oil and gas producing assets. Most of the proceeds will cover the $40 billion BP has set aside for the spill costs, but the company is also boosting investments in growth assets.
BP has received very good prices for these assets, prompting some analysts and investors to urge other major oil companies to generate better shareholder returns by slimming down their portfolios.
At 0946 GMT, BP shares were unchanged from Friday’s close at 446 pence.