COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A.P. Moller-Maersk spun off its oil and gas drilling unit and listed it separately on the Copenhagen stock exchange on Thursday, where it was traded slightly below the book value it had in Maersk’s own accounts.
The demerger is a part of the Danish shipping group’s 2016 plan to refocus its efforts into transport and logistics, a plan that has also led to the divestment of its oil exploration and production business to France’s Total in 2017.
Shares in the new company, called The Drilling Company of 1972 A/S, traded at 555 Danish crowns per share at 0805 GMT, which would value the company at around 24 billion Danish crowns ($3.6 billion).
Had investors valued it at the book value it had in Maersk’s accounts prior to the separate listing, the share price would have been around 600 crowns, Sydbank said.
Shares in Maersk fell 11 percent after the demerger, which was slightly less than the around 14 percent the share price should have gone down if investors had valued the drilling unit at the book value, Sydbank said.
Maersk’s existing shareholders had been given shares in the drilling company under the demerger arrangement, but some of them had probably sold those shares and bought shares in Maersk, seeking exposure to the shipping sector rather than oil drilling, Sydbank analyst Mikkel Emil Jensen said.
The main shareholder and the chairman of Maersk both backed management’s efforts to reshape the business at the annual general meeting on Tuesday, although other investors raised concerns about the rate of progress.
Reporting by Teis Jensen; editing by David Evans