Vivo Energy plans IPO at $3bn value

Vivo Energy distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa. Credit: Edgar Batte/Uganda Business News

Vivo Energy Investments BV, which markets and distributes Shell petroleum products in Africa, is planning a public listing in the coming months that could value it at over $3 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The company is working with a group of global investment banks as underwriters and is eyeing a listing on the London Stock Exchange, the Journal said, quoting people familiar with the matter.

Vivo Energy took over Shell’s business in Africa after the latter exited to focus on upstream operations. In April, Shell completed the sale of its 20% stake in the Amsterdam-based company to Vitol Group for $250 million. Vitol Group, a Dutch firm, has a 60% stake in the venture while Helios Investment Partners – an African private investment firm – owns the remaining stake.

According to the Journal, Vivo is betting that “Africa’s improving economic growth prospects, combined with a rebound in commodity prices and a growing middle class in parts of the continent, will help drive retail and consumer fuel demand.”

Vivo currently operates in 16 African countries, including Uganda where it runs 137 service stations. Early this year, Vivo Energy Uganda quietly took over Super Oil Petroleum Ltd, which had eight service stations in Kampala and Wakiso district. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

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Two of Vivo’s subsidiaries in Africa – in Mauritius and Ivory Coast – are listed on local stock exchanges.