* ExxonMobil pulls back further from declining Japan market
* TonenGeneral to spend $242 million for majority Mitsui Oil
* Mitsui will take about 10 pct of TonenGeneral from
TOKYO, Dec 18 Exxon Mobil Corp on
Wednesday cut its stake in Japan's second-biggest refiner,
further reducing its downstream presence in the world's
third-biggest economy, amid a rejig in the country's refining
Exxon will sell a 10 percent interest in TonenGeneral Sekiyu
KK to trading house Mitsui & Co as part of
TonenGeneral's takeover of a small oil products retailer, the
Japanese refiner said in a statement.
The sale comes almost two years after Exxon cut its
controlling stake in TonenGeneral as part of a strategy of
scaling back on downstream activities, such as crude processing
and oil product sales, to focus on its more lucrative upstream
Exxon is also reducing its presence in an industry that is
realigning, with oil firms cut refining capacity to offset
shrinking demand from a declining population and shifting to
technology that is more energy efficient and environmentally
TonenGeneral will buy oil products retailer Mitsui Oil Co.,
a unit of Mitsui, for 24.9 billion yen ($242.4 million), the
companies said on Wednesday.
In the deal, the Japanese refiner will take the 89.93
percent share that Mitsui holds in Mitsui Oil Co, and aims to
acquire additional shares to lift its stake to about 95 percent
by the end of March 2014, the refiner said in a filing with the
In addition, Mitsui will take a 9.99 interest in terms of
voting rights in TonenGeneral, which ranks only behind JX
Holdings Inc in terms of refining capacity in Japan,
from Exxon for 33.6 billion yen.
Both transactions are schedule to be completed on Feb. 4,
ExxonMobil currently holds a 22.21 percent share in terms of
voting rights in TonenGeneral.
As part of the transaction, TonenGeneral will also get the
50 percent stake from Mitsui Oil that it does not already own in
Kyokuto Petroleum Industries, which operates a 175,000 barrels
per day crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Chiba refinery,
east of Tokyo.
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities was the lead
financial advisor on the deal, with SMBC Nikko Securities also