(EnergyAsia, February 7 2013, Thursday) — Malaysian state energy company Petronas has offered to buy out the remaining 37.33% stake in listed shipping subsidiary MISC Berhad for 8.7 billion ringgit held by other shareholders. (US$1 =RM3.1).

Petronas, which owns and operates liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Malaysia and is building two more in Australia and Canada, said it would pay RM5.30 per share in cash for the 1.666 billion available shares in the world’s second- largest LNG shipping firm. The offer represents a 19% premium over MISC’s last price of RM4.45 ringgit on the Malaysian stock exchange before the offer was announced on January 31.

MISC’s share price has been on a slide the past two years on mounting losses incurred by its liner and container segments which it has since sold off to focus on the more lucrative and fast-growing LNG shipping sector. Its shares will be listed upon completion of the acquisition.

“The offer represents a significant step by Petronas to take MISC private and obtain full control of the company that will provide Petronas with greater flexibility in deciding MISC’s strategic direction,” said Petronas, which has promised it will not dismiss or make redundant the shipper’s employees as a result of the takeover.

Petronas added it has no intention of making a separate take-over offer for Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad, the listed 66-owned subsidiary of MISC.

Qatar Gas Transport Co owns and operates the world’s largest LNG fleet.