Energy trader Vitol snaps up UK's Vivo Energy in $2.3 billion deal

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- Commodities trader Vitol will buy Britain's Vivo Energy in a deal valued at roughly $2.3 billion, the companies said on Thursday, as the Dutch firm looks to expand its fuel distribution and marketing network in Africa.

Vivo shareholders will receive $1.79 in cash for each share they hold, and six cents as an interim plus special dividend.

Netherlands-based Vitol is the top shareholder in Vivo Energy with a 36.1% stake. Vitol said it had engaged with second largest shareholder Helios on several occasions in the past few years in order to buy Helios' 27.1% stake.

The two shareholders in the UK-based company that distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers in Africa agreed on the purchase price of $1.79 per Vivo share, which represents a premium of about 25% to the stock's Wednesday close.

Vivo's board plans to unanimously recommend the deal to shareholders.

Vitol's offer on Thursday follows a $1.55 per Vivo share proposal in February, which was rejected by the company's board, Vitol said.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Shailesh Kuber)

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