ExxonMobil to sell Japanese refining subsidiary for $3.9 bn

ExxonMobil Corp yesterday said that it will restructure its business in Japan by selling its stake in ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha, a major refiner in Japan, to its local partner TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK in a deal valued at $3.9 billion, making it the largest divestiture by Exxon since its 1999 merger with Mobil Corp.

ExxonMobil Japan Group comprises of ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha and its related companies and subsidiaries including TonenGeneral Sekiyu K K and Tonen Chemical Corp.

ExxonMobil Japan is a major manufacturer and marketer of petroleum fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals. Elements of the Group began operations in Japan in 1893.

ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha is a 100-per cent indirect subsidiary of Exxon Mobil of the US. TonenGeneral Sekiyu K K, an affiliate of ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha, which holds 50.02 per cent of its shares, is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Under the terms of the deal, Exxon will sell a 99-per cent stake in ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha, to TonenGeneral. Exxon will in turn shed most of its controlling stake in TonenGeneral, keeping a 22-per cent interest in the Japanese refiner.

The deal is the latest move by Exxon to shift its focus from refining operations to higher-margin businesses like exploration and development of new sources of oil and natural gas.