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Aramco to enter South American retail market with Esmax acquisition

At the signing ceremony, front row, from left: Southern Cross Group Partner Raoul Sotomayor and Acting President of Aramco Europe Mansour Al Turki. Back row, from left: Southern Cross Group Partner Jaime Besa, Aramco Executive Vice President of Products and Customers Yasser Mufti, Aramco Director of Retail Business Solutions Nader Douhan, and Aramco Director of Mergers & Acquisitions Mohammed Al Qahtani.

  • Deal unlocks new market opportunities and advances Aramco’s global Downstream expansion.


Aramco, one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, has agreed to purchase a 100% equity stake in Esmax Distribusción SpA (“Esmax”) from Southern Cross Group, a Latin America-focused private equity company. The transaction is subject to certain customary conditions, including regulatory approvals. 

Esmax is a leading diversified downstream fuels and lubricants retailer in Chile. Its national presence includes   retail fuel stations, airport operations, fuel distribution terminals and a lubricant blending plant. 

Aramco’s planned acquisition of Esmax would be its first Downstream retail investment in South America, recognizing the potential and attractiveness of these markets while advancing Aramco’s strategy of strengthening its downstream value chain. This transaction would enable Aramco to secure outlets for its refined products and help expand its retail business internationally. The acquisition would also further unlock new market opportunities for Valvoline branded lubricants, following Aramco’s acquisition of the Valvoline Inc. global products business in February 2023. 

Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, Aramco Downstream President, said: “This agreement is yet another milestone in our strategy to grow Aramco’s downstream presence globally and expand our retail, lubricants and trading businesses. We are excited by the opportunities it presents, creating synergies with our extensive trading and manufacturing systems. Moreover, it creates a platform to launch the Aramco brand both in Chile and South America more broadly, unlocking significant potential to capitalize on new markets for our products. Esmax is a well-run business in Chile with more than 100 years of experience with quality assets and growth potential. We are excited to have the outstanding people of Esmax join the Aramco family as we continue to execute on our downstream strategy.”

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