Statoil sells stake in Gassled for $3.2 billion

AP News
Posted: Jun 06, 2011 6:45 AM
Statoil sells stake in Gassled for $3.2 billion

Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA will sell the majority of its stake in gas transportation company Gassled to a holding company for 17.35 billion Norwegian kroner ($3.2 billion).

Statoil said Monday it will sell 24.1 percent of Gassled shares to Solveig Gas Norway AS, a holding company owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and subsidiaries of German-based insurance giant Allianz SE and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.

After the sale, Statoil's stake in Gassled will be 5 percent.

Gassled owns the grid that transports gas by pipeline from the Norwegian continental shelf to consumers on the European continent and the United Kingdom.

"This transaction contributes to a further streamlining of Statoil's portfolio," Statoil Executive Vice President Eldar Saetre said in a statement. "The divestment is part of our continuous efforts to increase capital efficiency and maximize shareholder value creation."

The company said the sale means it can invest the capital into assets and projects that yield higher rates of return.

Statoil shares rose by 1 percent to 137.2 Norwegian kroner ($25.7) in early trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange.