Russian Oil Firm Lukoil Buys Getty
NEW YORK (AP) _ Russia’s largest oil company Lukoil agreed Friday to purchase retail gasoline chain Getty Petroleum Marketing for $71 million in cash in what appears to be the first purchase by a Russian company of a publicly traded U.S. firm.
Lukoil officials said the purchase of Getty, which operates about 1,300 gas stations mostly in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, is the company’s first step in a planned long-term expansion into the U.S.
``We consider this a springboard to further acquisitions in the U.S.,″ said Vadim Guzman, head of Lukoil’s U.S. operations. ``We consider the U.S. markets to be the largest petroleum market in the world.″
Under the terms of the deal, Lukoil agreed to pay $5 for each share of Getty common stock, which represents a 54 percent premium over Getty’s Wednesday closing price of $3.25.
Getty’s shares jumped $1.38, or 40 percent, to $4.81 in midday trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange following the announcement. Lukoil’s shares, which trade in the over-the-counter market, fell $1 to $52.75.
Lukoil said several of Getty’s principal shareholders, who own about 40 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, have agreed to sell their shares as part of the tender offer.
Getty’s headquarters will remain in Jericho, N.Y., and no layoffs of Getty employees are expected, according to a statement issued by Lukoil.