Luk out, America -- there's a new oil major in town.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Russia's second-largest oil company, Lukoil (NQB: LUKOY) (which trades as an American Depositary Receipt on the London Stock Exchange -- go figure), was shifting its operational focus to selling oil products abroad.
Specifically, I explored the implications of Lukoil's prediction that buying Getty Petroleum Marketing and its 1,300 U.S. gas stations would be "a springboard to further acquisitions" in America, concluding that most oil companies here were simply too pricey for Lukoil to buy them out entirely. Only smaller companies such as Amerada Hess
Ah, but when you cannot afford a bunch of bananas, sometimes a store will let you buy just one or two.
That is exactly what Lukoil announced it was doing on Tuesday, paying almost $266 million to buy 795 currently-Mobil-branded gas stations from ConocoPhillips
Now for the big news/elementary mathematics lesson. If Lukoil owns roughly 4,100 gas stations worldwide, of which 1,300 were acquired as part of the Getty deal, and 800 more belong to the ConocoPhillips deal, then how many gas stations does Lukoil now own in the U.S.?
One answer might be "about 2,100." But a better answer is: more gas stations than it owns in any other single country in the world, including Russia itself, and more gas stations than it owns elsewhere in the rest of the world, combined. In other words, it has leveraged its initial $71 million investment in Getty into making Lukoil arguably a "U.S.-based gasoline chain."
And one final point: Lukoil paid an average of $335,000 per Mobil gas station. Sunoco paid $485,000 per station. Yet, the stations going to Sunoco have annual sales of only 1.27 million gallons per location, while the stations going to Lukoil sell more than 1.5 million gallons. In other words, Lukoil paid less per location, for better locations. So while some might say Lukoil overpaid for the stations, in comparison to the bargain basement price of the Getty deal, I would argue that Lukoil actually made out pretty well here.
Rich Smith 's day job is advising companies on doing business in Russia. He has bought gasoline at all of the companies mentioned in this article, but owns shares in none of them. The Fool has a disclosure policy .