Valvoline to sell its global products arm to Saudi’s Aramco

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Aramco announced a $2.65 billion agreement today to acquire Valvoline’s global products business, which includes motor oils, transmission fluids, coolants and other automotive maintenance products.

Valvoline said the transaction will separate its global products from its retail services businesses, transforming it into a purely automotive service provider. The more than 150-year-old company operates and franchises around 1,700 service centers, with stores across the United States offering oil changes and other quick services.

Valvoline noted the deal will help it to accelerate focus on servicing electric vehicle cars. It is a key supplier of battery fluids to electric vehicle manufacturers.

Valvoline said it expects to use the estimated $2.25 billion in net cash proceeds to return capital to shareholders through share repurchases, reduce debt and invest in its retail services business. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval, expected by the end of 2022 or early next year.

Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, has been expanding its downstream business in past years.

“Valvoline’s global products business fits perfectly with Aramco’s growth strategy for lubricants as it will leverage our global base oils production,” said Mohammed al-Qahtani, Aramco’s senior vice president of downstream.

Once the agreement is concluded, Valvoline will own its name brand for all retail services globally, excluding China and certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa, while Aramco will own the Valvoline brand for all product uses globally. Valvoline said it will procure motor oil and related products from the global products business through a long-term supply agreement.