June 12, 2019 / 2:20 PM / 7 months ago

Norway's Aker eyes listing, merger for its Cognite software firm

OSLO, June 12 (Reuters) - Norwegian investment firm Aker ASA aims to list its software firm Cognite on the Oslo stock market or find a merger partner for it to spur growth, AKER Chief Executive Oeyvind Eriksen said on Wednesday.

Cognite, which provides digitalisation services to oil companies and other industries, analyses data from operations and equipment sensors to help customers boost efficiency and cut costs.

“The short-term goal is to continue successful growth into a global software company,” Eriksen told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference.

“Listing sometime after 2019 is our base case plan, but there are other alternatives including joining forces with other software companies,” he added.

Cognite, in which Aker owns a 65% stake, has about 30 customers in Europe, including oil and gas firms Aker BP , Lundin Petroleum, OMV and DEA Wintershall, as well as Norway’s electricity transmission system operator Statnett and shipping firm Odfjell SE.

Eriksen said the expectation is that Aker BP should save more than $100 million or about 15-18% of its operational spending in 2020 compared with 2019 by using Cognite’s software and services.

Cognite co-founder and Chief Executive John Markus Lervik said about 35% of the expected savings should come from improved maintenance and 15% from giving oil workers digital tools to do their jobs more efficiently.

The rest is expected to come from boosting output, he added.

Oslo-based Cognite recently opened offices in Houston and Austin in the United States, and is planning to open one in Tokyo by the end of this year. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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