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Aramco buys Chile’s Esmak to expand global presence

Saudi Aramco
Southern Cross Group partner Raoul Sotomayor and acting president of Aramco Europe Mansour Al Turki signing the agreement

Saudi Aramco has agreed to purchase a 100 percent equity stake in Chile’s Esmax Distribución SpA (Esmax) from Southern Cross Group, the Latin America-focused private equity company.

The transaction is subject to certain customary conditions, including regulatory approvals, the Saudi-listed oil major said in a statement.

Esmax, a diversified downstream fuels and lubricants retailer in Chile, owns retail fuel stations, airport operations, fuel distribution terminals and a lubricant blending plant.

Aramco’s planned acquisition of Esmax will be its first downstream retail investment in South America. 

This transaction will enable the oil company to secure outlets for its refined products and help expand its retail business internationally. 

In 2022, Esmax recorded revenue of $2.5 billion and a profit of $57.7 million. Esmax distributes Petrobas fuel in Chile.

The acquisition will further unlock new market opportunities for Valvoline branded lubricants following Aramco’s acquisition of the Valvoline Inc. global products business in February 2023.

Mohammed Al Qahtani, downstream president, Aramco, said the acquisition creates a platform to launch the Aramco brand both in Chile and South America more broadly, unlocking significant potential to capitalise on new markets for its products. 

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Aramco was planning to sell a stake valued at $50 billion through a secondary share offering on the Saudi stock exchange.

The sale will likely happen before the end of the year after consultations with an adviser.