Aker BP is to pay Hess Corporation $2bn to acquire Hess Norge, in the process becoming the sole owner of the Valhall and Hod fields, strengthening the joint venture’s position on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Hess Norge holds 64.05% of Valhall and 62.5% of Hod, two fields Aker BP feel still have great potential.
The transaction will be financed through Aker BP’s existing long-term reserve based lending bank facility, and by the issuance of $500m in new equity. Aker and BP will subscribe for 40% and 30% of the shares to be issued, respectively, at the price determined through a bookbuilding process, or minimum NOK 155 per share. In addition, Aker and BP will underwrite the remaining shares to be issued at NOK 155 per share.
Aker BP’s CEO, Karl Johnny Hersvik commented: “Aker BP has a clear ambition to be the leading independent offshore E&P company. This transaction is an important step in that direction. Acquiring this portfolio gives Aker BP a deeper exposure to one of our core areas. Taking full ownership and control allows Aker BP to pursue upsides more aggressively. As the operator of the Valhall/Hod field, Aker BP knows the area very well.”
Aker BP will subsequently seek to sell or swap a minority interest in the fields to partners who want to work together with Aker BP to proactively target the upside potential in the area.