Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Marathon Petroleum Corp. considering $6.2 billion IPO for pipeline assets

FINDLAY, Ohio - Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC), the crude refiner that was spun off from Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) in June, says it is considering an initial public offering for its pipeline assets that may be worth as much as $6.2 billion.

Marathon Petroleum could launch the IPO for its pipeline assets as soon as the second half of 2012 and buy back as much as $2 billion in shares, the company said in a statement on Feb. 1. The announcement came less than two weeks after hedge fund Jana Partners LLC bought a 5.5 percent stake and began talks with the company.

Before Jana Partners began buying shares, Marathon Petroleum's Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger said the Findlay-based company’s refineries and pipelines shouldn’t be broken up.

The offering would be for units of a master limited partnership, or MLP, the company said.

Marathon Petroleum shares rose 9.6 percent to $41.88 at the close of the stock market on Feb. 1 in New York. The shares traded at a 29 percent premium to the average price of $32.58 Jana paid for its 18.8 million shares, excluding options, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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