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Shares of Vivo Energy, the owner of the Shell and Engen brands in 23 African countries, jumped as much as a quarter on Thursday, after it said it had received a buyout offer that values it at $2.3bn (R36.5bn).

The offer of $1.85 per share from energy and commodity trading giant Vitol represents a 30.6% premium to the group’s volume-weighted average share price in the month before the announcement.

The news sent Vivo’s shares up as much as 25.6%, before they pared gains to end the day 20.54% higher at R27.82, it's biggest rise in about 20 months, and giving it a market value of R35.25bn on the JSE, where it has a secondary listing.

The group’s primary listing is in London and has a network of more than 2,400 service stations, plus a retail offering that includes fuels, lubricants, card services, shops, restaurants and other non-fuel services. It has no operations in SA.

Vivo was created in 2011 through the splitting of Shell’s African downstream business, excluding SA, Egypt, Reunion and Togo, in partnership with UK-based private-equity firm Helios and Swiss-based Vitol.

The Vitol Group, founded in 1966, is one of the largest independent energy marketing and trading companies in the world, and already owns 36% of Vivo.

“Since we founded Vivo with Helios and Shell, we have believed in the business’s potential and we are excited to have it within the Vitol family, as a pillar of our strategy in Africa,” Vitol head of origination Chris Blake said in a statement.



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