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Total to buy Maersk Oil

French oil company Maersk has announced that it will buy Maersk Oil and Gas from Danish shipping company AP Møller-Maersk for $7.45 billion.23 Aug 2017

Under the share and debt transaction, AP Møller-Maersk will receive $4.95bn in Total shares and Total will assume $2.5bn of Maersk Oil’s debt, Total said.

The deal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals and must also be approved by both companies' boards, but is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018, Total said.

The purchase will bring Total "an exceptional overlap of upstream businesses globally", and the company "operational, commercial and financial synergies of more than $400 million per year, in particular by the combination of assets of Total and Maersk Oil in North Sea", it said.

Total chairman Patrick Pouyanne said: "The combination of Maersk Oil’s North Western Europe businesses with our existing portfolio will position Total as the second operator in the North Sea with strong production profiles in UK, Norway and Denmark, thus increasing exposure to conventional assets in OECD countries. Internationally, in the US Gulf of Mexico, Algeria, East Africa, Kazakhstan and Angola there is an excellent fit between Total and Maersk Oil’s businesses."

A new "anchor point" in Denmark will host Total's North Sea Business Unit and supervise operations in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, he said.

The acquisition will make Total the second largest operator in the NW Europe offshore region which is the 7th largest oil and gas producing region globally, it said.

Competition law expert Robert Eriksson of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind said: "The takeover by Total of Maersk’s North Sea fields will consolidate Total as the second largest producer in the North Sea. This transaction, along with the new entrants investing in the basin, has and will continue to also change the dynamic for service providers to the offshore oil and gas sector in the North Sea."

"The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority has noted that the service sector itself is ripe for further consolidation. At the same time, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has continued to scrutinise M&A activity in that sector under the merger control rules, including recently when it required divestments to be made as a condition for clearing the proposed acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler by the Wood Group," Eriksson said.