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BP Sells Stake in South African Unit to Black Empowerment Groups

BP Plc (BP/)’s South African unit sold a 25 percent stake in the business to two black-owned partners that will give the new investors voting rights in the oil producer’s local operations.

The Kapela Black Economic Empowerment consortium acquired a 20 percent stake plus one share and the BPSA education foundation gained a 5 percent holding, BP Southern Africa said in an e-mailed statement. The inclusion of voting rights sets the transaction announced today apart from previous BP empowerment deals, conducted since 2001, Reneilwe Letswalo, a spokeswoman for the London-based company’s unit, said by phone.

Black Economic Empowerment, or BEE, is a policy designed to compensate non-white South Africans for economic exclusion under the apartheid system of racial segregation, which ended in 1994.

The Kapela BEE group includes the Disability Empowerment Concerns Trust, a majority black trust supporting more than two million people with disabilities. At least 85 percent of its beneficiaries are black and half are women. The group also includes a black-owned and managed private equity firm, according to BP Southern Africa.

Through the BPSA Education Foundation, the company seeks to “enhance the standard of living and improve the well-being of previously disadvantaged, specifically black women and people with disabilities, through education and skills development,” the local unit of Europe’s third-largest oil company by market value said in its statement.

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