The battle to acquire Marathon Oil has taken another twist. Mobil Corporation has joined forces with Amerada Hess in a last-minute attempt to foil US Steel Corporation's $6.3 billion bid.
Under the Mobil-Hess agreement, Amerada Hess will buy all of Marathon Oil's existing marketing, refining, and transportation properties subsequent to Mobil's purchase of Marathon for $6.5 billion. At the same time, Hess has said it will maintain sales of refined products to all existing Marathon customers at the time of the closing. Thus the independent gasoline dealers currently serviced by Marathon would be assured of their gasoline supplies - a factor that was brought up by Marathon in its arguments against Mobil's bid. Hess also agreed to keep Marathon's operating headquarters in Findlay, Ohio.
Mobil, for its part, would retain the exploration and production part of Marathon, including the giant Yates field in Texas.
Marathon had no comment on the new bid.