You have probably already heard but the headline on Yahoo! Finance says it all: Ashland Signs Amended Agreement to Transfer Interest in MAP to Marathon for $3.7 Billion. Basically, Marathon Oil is buying up the part of the Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC joint venture that it didn’t already own. When the first version of this deal didn’t receive a favorable ruling from the IRS I knew it was only a matter of time until an amended deal was signed. I wonder what Marathon Oil will name its wholly owned refining, marketing, and transporting subsidiary. I propose the acronym, “MOP”, standing for Marathon Oil Petroleum LLC.

My personal opinion is that once this deal has been completed, Marathon Oil (MOC) itself will be a takeover target. After all, CEO Clarence Cazalot himself told Wall Street he would sell the company to the highest bidder:

“We’re for sale every day on the New York Stock Exchange,” Mr Cazalot said. “And certainly if someone wants to come in and pay a premium over what is trading on the New York Stock Exchange, our board would be interested.”

We all know that drilling for oil is most successful when completed on the floor of the New York stock exchange.