Vivo Energy Bets on Africa With IPO

By Ben Dummett Features Dow Jones Newswires

Vivo Energy Investments B.V., a major licensee of Royal Dutch Shell PLC fuels and lubricants in Africa, is eyeing an initial public offering over the coming months that could value the company at more than $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The planned offering represents a bet 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.

Based in the Netherlands, Vivo distributes and markets Shell-branded products across 16 African countries. The continent's economy is expected to generate real economic growth of 3.7% in 2018, according to estimates from the International Monetary Fund.

Vivo is working with a group of global investment banks as underwriters for the offering and is looking at the London Stock Exchange for a listing, according to some of the people familiar with the matter.

Details about the issue's potential size couldn't be learned, but it would likely value the entire company at more than $3 billion, according to people familiar with the effort.

Sarah Kent contributed to this article.

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Write to Ben Dummett at ben.dummett@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 09:29 ET (13:29 GMT)