Total acquires Maersk Oil in $7.45bn deal

The French oil group will pay $4.95bn in shares and assume part of the Danish company’s debt

French oil giant Total has agreed to buy Maersk Oil for $7.45bn. Moller Maersk plans to focus on other activities and divisions, such as shipping

On August 21, French oil giant Total announced it will be buying Maersk Oil for $7.45bn, in one of the largest transactions since oil prices collapsed in 2014, according to Bloomberg.

The agreement involves the transfer of $4.95bn in 97.5 million Total shares (3.76 percent of the company) to Moller Maersk, the Danish group selling its oil division. The other $2.5bn will be covered when Total assumes part of Maersk Oil’s debt.

The acquisition will transform Total into the second-largest operator in the North Sea.

“This transaction delivers an exceptional opportunity for Total to acquire, via an equity transaction, a company with high-quality assets which are an excellent fit with many of Total’s core regions,” said Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné in a statement.

Moreover, the deal is expected to “boost earnings and cash flow, and bolster its dividend prospects”, according to Reuters.

In Pouyanné’s words, the acquisition will give Total a new anchor point in Denmark to strengthen its existing offshore producing business, transforming it into the second-largest operator in the North Sea.

On the other side of the deal, Moller Maersk said the sale is related to its strategy of focusing on other activities. This includes focusing on its shipping division, which has been struggling in recent years.

The deal, led by one of the largest players in the global oil market, takes place at a moment of recovery in the energy field, following years of downturn. For example, in January 2016, oil prices fell below $30 per barrel in the international markets for the first time in 12 years, amid fears of a stall in China’s growth. In recent days, prices have been around $50 per barrel.

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