30 April 2014, News Wires – Norway’s Aker Solutions said it plans to split into two companies in a drive to cut costs and increase competitiveness.
Under the plans, the subsea, umbilicals, engineering and maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) divisions will remain as part of Aker Solutions.
Executive Chairman Oyvind Eriksen said the split would create a new Aker Solutions that would be “a leaner and more focused company that will be able to offer customers the unique and cost-effective technology and design they need to succeed”.
The company’s other units including drilling technologies, Aker oilfield services and process systems, surface products and business solutions will be spun into a new company to be called Akastor.
Eriksen said that the Akastor businesses would also benefit as they had “significant operational, technological and commercial differences that have prevented them from achieving synergies” within Aker Solutions.
Both companies will be listed on the Olso stock exchange after the split, which is envisaged for late September.
The split has been endorsed by Aker Kvaerner Holding and Aker ASA and is to be voted on by other shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting in August.
Aker Solutions said its smaller subsea and field design-focused incarnation would be “more strategically aligned, have a narrower focus and deeper synergies to strengthen its leading position through its unique subsea technology and state-of-the-art offshore field design”.
Akastor is envisaged as a diversified oilfield services investment company that would have greater freedom to develop its individual business areas more autonomously.
Shareholders will retain the same stock position in both companies while Eriksen will remain chairman of the board of Aker Solutions.
Aker Solutions regional president in Brazil Luis Araujo will be chief executive of the new Aker Solutions and Converto managing partner Frank Ove Reite will be chief executive of Akastor.
Aker Solutions chief financial officer Leif Borge will take up the same role at Akastor while his job at Aker Solutions will be taken over by subsea finance head Svein Oskar Stoknes.
The company also announced an increase in quarterly earnings to Nkr1.05 billion in the first quarter, compared with Nkr767 million in the first quarter of 2013.