Helped by signs of recovery in the recent oil market, the world’s top oil companies have been on acquisition and takeover trail. On such recent move, French Total is buying Danish Maersk’s oil and gas business in a $7.45 billion deal, to strengthen its operation in the North Sea for Total and Maersk plans to focus on its shipping business after the deal. Maersk oil reserves acquisition, equivalent to around 1 billion barrels of oil, is the biggest oil deal for Total since it acquired Elf in 2000 and is helpful as the company combines assets in the North Sea. Total had been exploring for new fields as oppose to mature fields in the North Sea and these acquisitions make Total the second largest player in the North Sea.
According to Total’s Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne, the time was right for a real oil and gas company to either launch new projects or acquire new reserves when the prices are low and costs are down. The purchase signals Total’s strategy to acquire attractive reserves from competitors due to its strong balance sheet despite the oil downturn and it also signals that major oil companies are anticipating an oil price recovery.
According to Pouyanne, Total had proposed Maersk an alternative to floating the business as there was no other oil major bidding for the assets and IPO in a tense oil market might not be the best move. the deal Maersk will get $4.95 billion in Total shares and absorb $2.5 billion of Maersk Oil’s debt.
Considered one of the majors in oil and gas industry, Total has had sales of $149.7 billion in 2016. Total’s history began in 1924 and it employs almost 98000 employees. With 150 plus nationality represented in its workforce, Total is a truly international company. Headquartered in France, Total has 500 production, sales and marketing and support professions within the group.
An integrated transport and logistics company, A.P.Moller- Maersk , is a global leader in shipping container and ports business. Operating in 130 countries, Maersk employs 88000 employees across the globe. Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Maersk was founded in 1904.