Norwegian oil company Okea plans an IPO in Oslo as part of its deal to buy some assets from Shell in Norway, positioning it for more mergers and acquisitions, the company’s CEO said Sept. 7.
A number of private equity-backed firms, such as Okea, Chrysaor, Neptune and Siccar Point, have entered the North Sea oil and gas sector since the oil market’s 2014 downturn as oil majors and European energy firms sought to divest.
Okea, co-founded by former Norwegian oil and energy minister Ola Borten Mo in 2015 and backed by Seacrest Capital, agreed in June to acquire stakes in Norway’s Draugen and Gjoea fields from Shell for 4.5 billion Norwegian crowns (US$535 million).
The acquisition gave the company production of about 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, providing a platform to pursue further merger and acquisition opportunities, CEO Erik Haugane said in a statement Sept. 7.
Bangchak Corp., a Thai downstream oil and gas firm, has agreed to invest 1 billion crowns ($119 million) to partly fund the acquisition and as a result would become Okea’s largest shareholder with a 45% to 49% stake, he told Reuters.
Seacrest Capital will hold about 35%, he added.
Haugane also said the Thai firm was behind the plan to seek Okea’s listing, adding the IPO would be in the next 12 months.
Okea on Sept. 7 also said it would raise $13.1 million via a private placement to finance working capital prior to closing the acquisition.
Pareto Securities AS and SpareBank 1 Markets AS are acting as managers and bookrunners for the private placement.
Haugane said the company didn’t plan to raise more money until the planned IPO, unless it decides to acquire more assets, adding that he saw “several opportunities” on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Okea also holds a tiny stake in Aker BP’s Ivar Aasen Field, a 15% stake in Repsol’s Yme Field and a 70% stake in the Grevling discovery.