Sunoco to complete SunCoke spinoff in January

Sunoco Inc. will complete its spinoff of its metallurgical coke manufacturing business by issuing a special stock dividend to shareholders.

The company said Thursday that its board of directors approved a stock dividend of the 56.66 million shares of SunCoke Energy Inc. that it still owns after SunCoke's initial public offering in July. Sunoco had retained an 80.94 percent controlling stake in the producer of coke, which is used in the steel industry.

Sunoco shareholders would receive 0.53 of a share of SunCoke common stock for each share of Sunoco common stock held as of Jan. 5. The distribution of the SunCoke shares would occur on Jan. 17.

It's another step in the Philadelphia company's plan to divest operations that aren't core to its goal toward being a transportation fuel retailer and pipeline operator. Sunoco announced in September that it intended to exit the oil refining business by July 2012 and sold the last of its chemicals business earlier this year.

"We continue to focus on the strategic review of Sunoco's other businesses, in particular the best way to deliver maximum value from our profitable and growing retail and logistics business," said Sunoco CEO Lynn L. Elsenhans in a statement.

Shares of Sunoco were trading up less than 1 percent Thursday morning, or up 32 cents to $39.13. Shares of the Lisle, Ill.-based SunCoke were down 68 cents to $10.86.