Murphy Oil Board OKs Plans To Sell Refining Business, UK Retail System

by Jan Cottingham  on Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010 5:22 pm  

Murphy Oil President and CEO David Wood says the move will help the firm fully focus on its U.S. retail and upstream businesses.

Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado announced Thursday that its board of directors had approved plans for exiting the company’s refining businesses.

The refineries at Superior, Wis., Meraux, La., and Milford Haven, Wales, along with the retail system in the United Kingdom, will be placed for sale. The company expects to complete the sale in the first quarter of 2011.

In a company news release, President and CEO David Wood said, "Murphy’s Upstream and U.S. Retail businesses have demonstrated marked growth and financial performance over the last several years. By exiting the refining business, we can fully focus our attention and resources on continuing that growth, developing a premier international upstream business and a top quartile U.S. retail franchise."

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is serving as exclusive financial adviser to Murphy during
the process.

Murphy Oil announced in May that first-quarter profit fell 13 percent to $148.9 million, or 77 cents per share.

At the time, the company said profit fell on lower refining margins and planned shutdowns for major turnarounds at two of its largest refineries at Meraux and Milford Haven. The company also cited "significant losses" on foreign currencies transactions in 2010.

Murphy Oil will host a conference call to discuss the planned transaction at 8 a.m. Friday. The company is set to release second-quarter earnings on Aug. 4.



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