Maersk to Spin Off Drilling Unit as It Focuses on Transport

MaerskIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Danish transport and logistics group A.P. Moller – Maersk has decided to list Maersk Drilling as a standalone company on Nasdaq Copenhagen in 2019 in an effort to focus on transport and logistics.

Having evaluated the different options for Maersk Drilling, the group opted for the move as it presents “the most optimal and long-term prospects” for its shareholders.

The process has been initiated to ensure that Maersk Drilling is operationally and organisationally ready for a listing in 2019. As part of the preparation, debt financing of USD 1.5 billion from a consortium of international banks has been secured for Maersk Drilling to ensure a strong capital structure after a listing.

“With the decision made on Maersk Drilling, A.P. Moller – Maersk can stay focused on transitioning into an integrated transport and logistics company and developing solutions to meet our customers end-to-end supply chain management needs. New value adding services as well as customer experience are improving continuously based on digital solutions. We will continue to grow revenue with a specific focus on non-Ocean revenue and at the same time improve our current unsatisfactory level of profitability,” Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said.

Separation of the oil & oil related businesses

The decision on the future of Maersk Drilling marks a milestone in the business transformation of A.P. Moller – Maersk towards becoming an integrated transport & logistics company as announced in September 2016. The target was set to find new viable solutions for the oil and oil related businesses within 24 months. During the past two years solutions for Maersk Oil and Maersk Tankers have been found.

For Maersk Supply Service, the pursuit of a solution will continue. However due to challenging markets, the timing for defining a solution is difficult to predict, the company informed.

Subject to maintaining investment grade rating it is now expected that Maersk Drilling will be demerged via a listing in 2019 with distribution of Maersk Drilling shares to A.P. Moller – Maersk’s shareholders. Following the demerger of Maersk Drilling a material part of the remaining Total S.A. shares will be distributed to the group’s shareholders in cash dividends, share buy-backs or as a distribution of the Total S.A shares directly

The overall transport and logistics business has grown significantly over the last two years – both organically and inorganically through the acquisition of Hamburg Süd, according to Maersk. A turnover close to USD 40 billion is expected for 2018, equaling an increase of almost 50 percent since 2016. The non-Ocean business is as planned growing organically at a higher pace than the Ocean business.

“Synergies are being realised as expected and the business is on track to deliver around USD 1 billion by end 2019 from integration of Hamburg Süd and increased collaboration across the transport and logistics business,” the company added.

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