Engen investor looks to cut stake in RM13.2b gas-station firm

By BLOOMBERG / Pic Source: engen.co.za

THE second-largest shareholder in Engen Petroleum Ltd, the operator of South Africa’s largest chain of gas stations, is considering reducing a 26% stake in the business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Phembani, a South African investment firm founded by former MTN Group Ltd CEO Phuthuma Nhleko, is looking to dispose of part of the shareholding, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the plans are still private. While Phembani has approached potential buyers including Royal Bafokeng Holdings, no final decision has been made, they said.

Engen as a whole could be valued at as much as US$3 billion (RM13.18 billion), two people said, meaning Phembani’s stake could be worth about US$780 million. 

Engen and Royal Bafokeng Holdings declined to comment. Phembani didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

Engen owns 1,280 service stations across southern Africa and a 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery. The Cape Town-based company is majority controlled by Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, which has also explored a number of options to exit the firm, including an IPO, though is yet to execute on a process.    

Depending on market conditions, Petronas could revisit a sale in 2023, said one of the people, which may come as another opportunity for Phembani to exit should the group not opt to sell now, they said.

Petronas didn’t respond to a request for comment.