Det norske oljeselskap (Det norske) has entered into an agreement with BP to merge with BP Norge through a share purchase transaction. The new company will be named Aker BP and will be headquartered at Fornebuporten, Norway, with Aker and BP as main industrial shareholders.
“We are proud to announce this merger to create Aker BP, the leading independent offshore E&P company. Aker BP will leverage on Det norske’s efficient operations, BP’s international oil company capabilities and Aker’s 175 years of industrial experience. Together, we are establishing a strong platform for creating value for our shareholders through our unique industrial capabilities, a world-class asset base and financial robustness. We look forward to taking advantage of the attractive growth potential on the Norwegian Continental Shelf through this industrial partnership with BP and to deliver on Aker BP’s dividend story,” said Øyvind Eriksen, chairman of Det norske.
Aker BP will be jointly owned by Aker (40%), BP (30%) and other Det norske shareholders (30%). As part of the transaction, Det norske will issue 135.1m shares based on NOK80 per share to BP as compensation for all shares in BP Norge, including assets, a tax loss carry forward of $267m and a net cash position of $178m. In parallel, Aker will acquire 33.8m shares from BP at the same share price to achieve the agreed-upon ownership structure.
“This innovative deal demonstrates how we can adapt our business model with strong and talented partners to remain competitive and grow where we see long-term benefit for our shareholders,” said Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP.
Aker BP will hold a portfolio of 97 licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, of which 46 are operated. The combined company will hold an estimated 723m barrels of oil equivalent P50 reserves, with a 2015 joint production of approximately 122,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.