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Pertamina to buy stake in French oil giant, boost African footprint

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A worker of state-owned Pertamina looks on a petrol station in Jakarta.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesian oil and gas company Pertamina has agreed to purchase a 24.53% interest in French peer Maurel & Prom in a deal estimated at nearly $200 million.

Pertamina, now fully owned by the government, will gain a greater presence in African oil and gas assets as the company aims to "enhance its upstream footprint around the world." Indonesia's largest oil company said Monday it will buy the stake in M&P from shareholder Pacifico at 4.20 euros ($4.70) per share, plus a potential 0.5 euro per share depending on crude oil prices next year.

Outside Indonesia, Pertamina owns oil and gas exploration and production assets in Algeria, Iraq and Malaysia.

M&P, which is listed on Euronext Paris, conducts most of its business in Africa via production in Gabon and Tanzania as well as through a 21.37% stake in Seplat Petroleum, a leading Nigerian operator.

"Our main approach to meet national energy needs is through acquisition of productive assets -- inside and outside the country," Pertamina spokeswoman Wianda Pusponegoro said Monday.

She said M&P's "highly experienced" teams are expected to contribute to the success of "this impressive stride" by Pertamina to ensure Indonesia's energy security. The deal comes as domestic oil production continues to decline.

M&P said Pertamina will make the French company its "international development platform."

Pacifico and Pertamina said the transaction is subject to approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities.

Pertamina also is in the process of acquiring state-owned listed Indonesian gas distributor Perusahaan Gas Negara. Indonesia's government is looking to group state-owned companies with similar business portfolios under the same holding company.

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