Norway's Statoil to seek overseas acquisitions as state cashes out
Norwegian energy firm Statoil ASA is reportedly studying overseas acquistions to reduce its focus on Norway. Reuters, citing an earlier report by Bloomberg, said that Tullow Oil PLC is among targets it is studying. Tullow Oil is a London-based oil producer focused on Africa.
According to Reuters, the state-controlled petroleum company is considering deals involving payment in shares that could dilute the Norwegian government's shareholding in Statoil. The new Conservative-led government is seeking to cut its stake from 67% to 51%. Norway's orignial stake in Statoil is worth $51 billion, Bloomberg said.
In the past, Statoil has also looked at deals with rivals as large as Anadarko Petroleum Corp., EOG Resources Inc. and BG Group PLC. However, attempting to merge with companies of that size, all of which have a market value of over $40 billion, while keeping majority state ownership would be difficult, the report said.
Statoil is the giant of Norwway's economy, accounting for almost 20% of Oslo's benchmark index. It also looms large emotionally, as a symbol of Norway's resource wealth and engineering prowess, Bloomberg said.