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Tiny Norwegian oil companies agree merger

Tiny Norwegian oil companies agree merger

Norway's tiny No. 2 oil company Det norske oljeselskap ASA announced a plan Tuesday to take over small Norwegian offshore oil group Aker Exploration ASA to form a company worth roughly 4 billion kroner ($667 million) at current share prices.
The proposed deal requires the approval of both companies shareholders at special meetings in October, as well as due diligence and clarification of oil licenses.
The proposal would give Det norske shareholders 82 percent and Aker Exploration shareholders 18 percent of Det norske oljeselskap. Norway's Aker ASA, which owns 76.1 percent of Aker Exploration, would become the largest shareholder in Det norske with 30 percent.
"Having Aker as our largest owner improves the company's chances of achieving its goal of becoming a new big oil and gas company," said Erik Haugane, Det norske's chief executive.
The companies have 70 oil licenses off the Norwegian coast, including 32 as operator of the blocks. Det norske became Norway's No. 2 oil company after state-controlled Statoil ASA took over the oil unit of rival Norsk Hydro ASA in October 2007 to become StatoilHydro ASA but remains tiny compared with StatoilHydro, which has a staff of more than 30,000 and worldwide operations. Det norske has about 140 staff, and Aker Exploration had about 30 at the end of 2008.
Det norske shares were down 3.27 percent 51.75 kroner ($8.62) by mid-afternoon on the Oslo bourse. Aker Exploration has not been traded by mid-afternoon.
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On the Net:
http://www.detnor.no
http://www.akerexploration.no


Updated : 2021-03-03 05:01 GMT+08:00