Bangchak says purchase of controlling stake in Esso Thailand to be completed in second half of 2023.

Thailand’s energy conglomerate Bangchak will buy a two-thirds stake in ExxonMobil’s Thai business in a deal valued at 20.1 billion baht ($603m), the two companies have announced.

Bangchak said its purchase of the controlling stake in Esso Thailand, valued at 55.5 billion baht ($1.6 billion) in total, is expected to be completed in the second half of this year for a price that is yet to be determined.

The energy company said it would seek to buy the remaining stake after the sale is completed.

Under the deal, Bangchak is set to gain control of a major refinery and a network of 700 Esso-branded stations.

“This investment is a step towards greater energy security, balancing our long-term strategy with energy affordability and sustainability,” Chaiwat Kovavisarach, Bangchak Group’s chief executive officer and president, said in a statement.

“I believe this transformational transaction marks the beginning of a new chapter for BCP and for Thailand.”

ExxonMobil will continue to have a presence in Thailand through a new company that will sell finished lubricants and chemical products.

“As we execute our strategy, ExxonMobil is focusing its investments on global production facilities to meet the world’s demand for lower-emissions fuels and high-performance products, while divesting assets where others see the potential for greater value,” Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions, said in a statement.

“We appreciate the talent and determination of our colleagues in Thailand who have safely provided reliable product supply to the Thailand and Greater Mekong markets for more than 125 years, and we thank them for their dedicated service.”