The Associated Press May 25, 2011, 7:04PM ET

Marathon Oil board approves refining spinoff

Marathon Oil Corp. said on Wednesday that its board has approved the spinoff of its refining business.

The new company will be Marathon Petroleum Corp. Marathon Oil shareholders as June 27 will get one share of the new company for every two Marathon Oil shares they own. The shares will be distributed June 30.

Marathon Oil said the new company will be completely independent, and it won't own any shares in it. The new company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MPC."

The new company is expected to have almost $1.43 billion in cash. It will be based in Findlay, Ohio, and Marathon said it will be the fifth-largest U.S. refiner. Marathon Oil will remain in Houston.

Energy company El Paso Corp. announced a similar split on Tuesday, and Williams Cos. underwent a split earlier this year.

Marathon Oil shares rose 88 cents to close at $52.76 before the announcement. In after-hours trading, the stock gained 4 cents to $52.80.

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