Marathon spinoff’s shares to hit market


FINDLAY — Marathon Petroleum Corp. subsidiary MPLX LP is expected to hit the stock market today in an initial public offering that could raise as much as $365 million.

Findlay-based Marathon filed paperwork for the offering in July.

MPLX, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum, will own 51 percent of the company’s network of pipelines and oil storage facilities in the Midwest and the Gulf Coast region.

It also will own a butane cavern in West Virginia.

The common shares being offered will represent up to a 22.9 percent limited partner interest in MPLX, Marathon Petroleum said.

The shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “MPLX.”

The company will be a master limited partnership, which are popular with energy companies in part because the structures pay little or no taxes.

UBS Investment Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan are the joint book-runners on the deal.

Marathon Petroleum was spun off from Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. last year.

It is now the nation’s fourth-largest oil refiner because of a deal to purchase a large Texas refinery from BP PLC.

The decision to spin off MPLX came earlier this year after Jana Partners LLC bought a 5.5 percent stake in Marathon Petroleum to become the company’s largest stockholder.

Jana, a New York hedge fund that has a reputation as an activist investor, called for the company to separate its business divisions.

Weeks later, Marathon Petroleum said it was considering a spinoff of its pipeline assets.

Its stock price surged nearly 10 percent on the news, rising from $38 a share to $41.68.

It closed on Thursday up 26 cents to $53.96.