Aker BP Buys Hess Corp's Norwegian Assets For $2 Billion

By Dominic Chopping Features Dow Jones Newswires

The joint venture company formed by Norway's Aker ASA (AKER.OS) and BP PLC (BP) bolstered its presence on the Norwegian Continental Shelf on Tuesday with the $2 billion acquisition of Hess Norge AS.

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The deal will see Aker BP ASA (AKERBP.OS) take large interests in oil-producing Norwegian fields, allowing it to increase its dividend capacity, it said in a statement. Investors will receive a bigger payout from the fourth quarter.

Financing of the deal will come via existing bank facilities as well as a $500 million equity issue with Aker and BP subscribing to 40% and 30% of the shares to be issued, respectively, for at least NOK155 a share. The remaining shares to be issued will be fully underwritten by Aker and BP at NOK155 a share.

For Hess Corp. (HES), the sale marks the latest move in an ongoing asset disposal program as the American oil giant refocuses its portfolio on higher returning assets while reducing its break-even oil price.

"Proceeds from these asset sales, along with cash on the balance sheet, will pre-fund development of our world class investment opportunity in offshore Guyana, where we have participated in one of the world's largest oil discoveries of the past decade," Hess chief executive John Hess said in a statement.

Hess will also start a process to sell its interests in Denmark.

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Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com; Twitter: @domchopping; @WSJNordics

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October 24, 2017 02:31 ET (06:31 GMT)