Maersk, DONG Energy in talks over $10 billion oil merger: sources

Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:06pm EST
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By Sophie Sassard and Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) - Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO: Quote) and DONG Energy (DENERG.CO: Quote) are in talks to merge their oil and gas operations in a deal that would create a business worth more than $10 billion including debt, sources familiar with the matter said.

Maersk is working with Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote) on the potential deal, while JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote) is assisting Dong Energy, said the people, who cautioned there is no certainty the parties would come to terms.

Maersk said in September it planned to merge or spin-off its energy assets as part of a major restructuring and instead focus on its core transport and logistics businesses.

DONG Energy said this month it was putting its oil and gas assets up for sale, as it wants to shift away from fossil fuels toward offshore wind.

Some analysts have said, however, that it could be hard to find buyers, with many other energy companies also putting assets up for sale due to low oil prices.

"The only thing that would make sense is a complete merger of their businesses,", said one of the sources, who asked not to be names because the deliberations are private.

A spokesman for DONG said: "We are in the very early stages of the sales process. There will be no sale before the end of the year and it is far too early to speculate over timing and indeed potential buyers."

Maersk, Bank of America, JP Morgan declined to comment.   Continued...

Crew members look out from the container ship, the MV Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, as it berths during its maiden port of call at a PSA International port terminal in Singapore September 27, 2013.     REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo