(Adds background and comment)
KUALA LUMPUR Jan 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) has made an 8.8 billion ringgit ($2.85 billion) offer to buy out other shareholders in shipping unit MISC Bhd and delist it.
Petronas, which owns 62.7 percent of MISC, made an offer for the remaining shares at 5.30 ringgit per share, according to a stock exchange filing on Thursday.
Petronas, which provided no reason for its plans, said it intends to delist MISC from the local stock exchange if its offer is accepted.
"It makes for sense for Petronas, but the market loses a large liquid stock. Nevertheless, it's a sweet deal for those who own MISC stock, since the offer price is at an 0.8 ringgit premium," a Kuala Lumpur-based fund manager with a foreign asset management company said.
"Without the shareholders breathing down their neck, Petronas can concentrate on supporting this company," he added.
MISC closed down 0.89 percent at 4.45 ringgit per share on Thursday.
MISC's financial performance was disappointing in the third quarter as losses from its petroleum and chemical segment alongside a smaller contribution from its heavy engineering division took a toll.
Petronas bought a 29 percent stake in MISC in 1997 and then raised it to over 60 percent the following year. The increase helped MISC purchase ailing Konsortium Perkapalan, a shipping company controlled by a son of then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. MISC paid for the deal in cash and by assuming debts owed by Perkapalan. ($1 = 3.0830 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting By Siva Sithraputhran; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage and Jane Baird)