An important step in the A.P. Moller - Maersk strategy

A material step in the strategy to separate out the oil and oil related activities and create an integrated transport and logistics company was taken in August, as A.P. Moller - Maersk signed an agreement to sell Maersk Oil to the leading global oil and gas operator, Total S.A, for USD 7.45bn in a combined share and debt transaction. 

Future of maersk oil
Photo: Maersk Oil

Total in brief

  • Founded in 1924, Total employs 98,000 people within the exploration, production, processing and selling of energy
  • The company has operations in 130 countries spanning over five regions, and is committed to investing USD 15-17bn in its oil and gas business from 2017 and onwards.

Maersk Oil in brief

  • Established in 1962, Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with a 2016 entitlement production of 313,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
  • Production comes from Denmark, the UK, Norway, Kazakhstan, the US Gulf of Mexico and Algeria. Exploration and development activities are on-going in Angola, Kenya, Brazil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq and in the producing countries

Maersk Oil will become part of the world’s fourth largest oil and gas company, and a company with a strong performance record and long-term growth and investment interest in the oil and gas sector.

The combination of Total, the new owner, and Maersk Oil’s global footprint and geographical overlap will ensure the continued development of Maersk Oil’s worldwide strategic and selective assets. 

Maersk Oil’s worldwide organisation will be integrated into Total with respect for the technical know-how as well as the strong North Sea position. As a testament to Maersk Oil’s capabilities and position, Maersk Oil’s Copenhagen office will form the regional hub and head office for Total’s activities in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands ensuring a continued Danish stronghold in the North Sea. 

Furthermore, Maersk Oil will remain close to its technology and innovation partners at the Danish technical institutions and in the oil and gas service industry to the benefit of all parties.

Maersk Oil is the first of the four oil and oil related companies of A.P. Moller - Maersk for which the future structural solution has now been identified.

“The transaction, which is expected to close during first quarter 2018, will ensure that A.P. Moller - Maersk maintains its strong capital structure and frees up resources to focus our future growth on container shipping, ports and logistics,” says Søren Skou, A.P. Moller - Maersk CEO. “Equally important, we have ensured that Maersk Oil becomes part of a company committed to long term growth in the oil and gas industry.”

In determining the best future ownership structure for Maersk Oil, it has been important that the organisational competencies and the assets created in Maersk Oil continue to be developed, and that long-term investments are upheld, especially in the Danish part of the North Sea. Compared with other solutions investigated, including an independent listing, the sale offers very high value, high deal certainty, transaction speed, low risk and a lot of opportunities for Maersk Oil’s employees.

“The valuation of Maersk Oil and Total’s commitment to ensuring that our criteria for the separation are met is a testament to the quality and standing of Maersk Oil. It is a difficult and emotional decision to let go of such an integral part of the A.P. Moller - Maersk family. However, we are certain that Total will be an excellent owner of Maersk Oil,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk and CEO of the Energy division and continues:

“The capabilities, experiences and partnerships, which have made Maersk Oil a globally recognised technology leader and trusted operator will contribute to Total’s position in the greater North Sea and worldwide.”

Total will take over Maersk Oil’s entire portfolio, obligations and rights with minimal pre-conditions, and is committed to upholding the planned development schedules and investments in strategic and sanctioned projects, such as Culzean, Johan Sverdrup and the Tyra redevelopment.

“I would like to thank all the employees in Maersk Oil. Your passion, efforts and devotion to Maersk Oil and A.P. Moller - Maersk has built Maersk Oil into the significant company it is today,” Claus V. Hemmingsen adds. “You can all take immense pride over 50 years having developed Maersk Oil from producing the very first oil in the Danish North Sea into a highly reputed and extremely valuable oil and gas company.”

Poster image
Patrick Pouyanné pledges that Total will do its “very best to ensure that the merging of our two great companies is handled sensitively, positively and seamlessly”. 07:22


Welcome to the family

For Total, it is truly a great honour and a privilege to be bestowed with the responsibility for taking Maersk Oil into its next exciting chapter, says Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

On a visit to Esplanaden after the deal was announced with a team from Total, Patrick Pouyanné points out that it was the company’s largest transaction since 2000.

“We made it for three reasons: First, Maersk Oil has high quality assets, which fit perfectly with our portfolio, in particular the footprint in the North Sea, which is also a strong point of Total. This will allow us to create the number two player and we will operate 500,000 barrels a day of oil and gas in the North Sea. It will be a big company and more competitive than each of us separately,” he explains.

“The second one is that we know that Maersk Oil has strong and highly skilled people. We don’t only acquire the assets but also the people. This is very important, because we’ve been through a period with low recruitment so there are plenty of positions to welcome Maersk Oil staff into the company. This new blood that Maersk Oil will bring into Total is very welcome.”

“The third point is that there is a Danish heritage. Maersk Oil has developed the Danish resources for over 50 years, and we wish to benefit from that by establishing a new anchor point of the company here in Copenhagen.”

Patrick Pouyanné also highlights Total’s five values, when describing the company’s culture: Safety, Respect for each other, Pioneer spirit, Stand together and Performance minded.

“You have my pledge that we will do our very best to ensure that the merging of our two great companies is handled sensitively, positively and seamlessly,” he says, with a final word to Maersk Oil employees:

“Welcome to the Total family.”


Identifying the best solution for the energy companies

The solutions for Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Service and Maersk Tankers remain to be defined before the end of 2018. There is no “one size fits all”, as solutions and time horizons will differ, pending the individual business unit’s current and future industry scenarios.

“As we assess the different opportunities for the individual businesses, we do not want to limit our options. We will ensure that all recommended solutions constitute the most optimal development of the capabilities and assets built in the energy companies, whilst bringing optimal value to A.P. Moller - Maersk’s shareholders,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.

A.P. Moller - Maersk has approached this process with an open mind to find the best structural solution for the individual businesses. Options can change during such a process due to the individual businesses’ current and future position, the market and industry outlook, as well as the market interest. A.P. Moller – Maersk therefore continues to pursue several tracks for the individual businesses. 

“We do not want to limit our choices or prematurely signal any solutions to the market. Therefore, we can unfortunately not be transparent about the process neither internally nor externally,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen. “While we progress on finding the right solutions, it is imperative that we all continue to perform at our best level to maintain or even enhance the competitiveness of our business. This alone will enable us to approach the different structural options from a position of strength.”

Future of maersk oil Group Photo
Patrick Pouyanné, centre, pledges that Total will do its “very best to ensure that the merging of our two great companies is handled sensitively, positively and seamlessly”