The extraordinary general meeting in Det norske oljeselskap ASA has approved the merger with Aker Exploration ASA. This will reinforce Det norske as the second largest company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, measured both in number of operatorships and exploration drilling activity.
41,441,161 shares voted for, corresponding to 94.34 percent of the votes. 69.4 percent of outstanding shares were represented at the EGM.
Chief Executive Officer Erik Haugane was pleased to see that the merger proposal received such a large majority.
"The merger is a major step in order to make Det norske into a stronger company on the Norwegian shelf. This is an industry where size matters. The merger will give us a wider portfolio of exiting prospects, better access to rig capacity and a large owner with industry know-how and significant financial muscles," said Haugane.
Det norske Chairman Svein Sivertsen, said, "There is a good match between Det norske and Aker Exploration. This merger will unite two exploration teams, which independently have managed to build significant license portfolios on the Norwegian Shelf within a few years. The new company will create more value both for shareholders and for the Norwegian society."
Shareholders in Det norske will receive 1.403328 shares in Aker Exploration for every Det norske share. Based on the exchange ratio, shareholders in Det norske will hold 82 percent in the combined company, while shareholders in Aker Exploration will hold the remaining 18 percent.
It is expected that the merger will be finalized by year-end 2009. The merged company will take Det norske oljeselskap ASA as name and it is a prerequisite that the shares in the merged company are listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. Aker ASA will become the largest shareholder in the company. Based on current shareholdings and transactions, Aker will hold just above 40 percent of the shares.
The merged company will become the second largest oil company on the Norwegian shelf measured in number of operatorships and exploration activity. Following the merger, the company will operate 32 licenses and have a portfolio of 70 licenses.
Erik Haugane will become chief executive officer in the merged company and Kjell Inge Rokke will take the position as chairman.
The merger execution is conditional upon approval from Norwegian authorities and third parties, and it is also a condition that the shares in the merged company are listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
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