Apache agrees to sell Australian operations to private equity funds for $2.1 billion in cash

Apache Corp. says it is selling its Australian oil exploration and production subsidiary for $2.1 billion in cash.

The Houston-based company said Wednesday that a consortium of private equity funds managed by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. agreed to buy Apache Energy Ltd.

The assets of Apache Energy Ltd. and its subsidiaries averaged production of roughly 49,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in March.

The transaction is expected to close by mid-2015.

The sale marks Apache's exit from oil exploration and production in Australia, although the company will retain its 49 percent ownership interest in fertilizer producer Yara Pilbara Holdings.

Apache has been selling assets in recent months as part of a strategy to focus on oil production in North America.