Exxon Looking To Maintain, Not Increase, Imperial Ownership Percentage

Includes: IMO, XOM
by: FP Trading Desk

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) owns nearly 70% of Imperial Oil Ltd.'s (NYSEMKT:IMO) outstanding shares and the two companies have been the subject of recent merger and acquisition speculation. However, insider activity and recent moves by the partners suggest no such deal is in the works.

On June 1, 2003, Exxon held 260,005,613 shares of Imperial Oil through Roytor & Co. That number fell to 227,379,293 by mid-May of 2006, when a stock split boosted the shares Exxon held to 682,137,879.

As of Exxon's last insider transaction filed with SEDI on May 11, 2007, the company held 651,133,711 Imperial Oil shares.

Meanwhile, Imperial Oil on Wednesday said it will ask the Toronto Stock Exchange for permission to continue its existing share repurchase program facility that will expire on June 22, 2007. This would let Imperial buy back as much as 5% of its issued and outstanding shares on the date of acceptance by the Toronto Stock Exchange during the 12 months after purchases begin.

Acceptance is expected on June 21, Imperial Oil said in a statement.

The company has approximately 934 million shares outstanding.

"Exxon Mobil Corporation has advised Imperial that it will participate in the new program as it has in the existing one, to maintain its ownership percentage in Imperial at 69.6 percent," the statement said.