Petronas to buy shipping subsidiary MISC Bhd for $2.8 bn

Petroliam Nasional Bhd, the Malaysian state-owned energy company known as Petronas, yesterday said that it would buy the remaining shares it does not already own in its shipping unit MISC Bhd, for 8.8 billion ringgit ($2.8 billion).

Petronas, which already holds a controlling 62.67-per cent stake in MISC, offered to pay 5.30 ringgit per share, on condition that it recieves 90 per cent or more of the total MISC shares.

''The offer represents a significant step by Petronas to take MISC private and obtain full control of the company that will provide Petronas with greater flexibility in deciding MISC's strategic direction,'' the Kuala Lumpur-based company said in a statement.

Petronas said that it has no intention of tabling  a separate take-over offer for the listed subsidiary of MISC, Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad.

MISC is Malaysia's largest shipping line operating a modern and diversified fleet of 115 vessels with combined tonnage of more than 15,000,000 DWT.

With 29 Liquified Natural Gas carriers, MISC is a specialist in energy transportation and is the world's second-largest operator of a LNG fleet after Qatar Gas Transport Co.

It is also one of the leading global tanker operator and the world's second-largest owner-operator of Aframax tankers, also known as medium size oil tankers.

MISC also transports vegetable oils and chemicals. Its chemical tankers are can segregate up to 35 different grades of cargo onboard.