Speculation rises around Aker Solutions’ ownership

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Stock in Norwegian oil supply company Aker Solutions is “in play,” according to more media reports that the Oslo-based firm may be about to be sold. Both US and Chinese interests are reportedly interested in buying up parts of the company that’s recently been through major cost-cutting.

Aker Solutions’ share price jumped so high last year that it contributed to a large and controversial spike in the compensation of its chief executive, at a time when thousands of Aker Solutions employees have been laid off or had their pay frozen and cut. The share price has continued to rise this year and newspaper Upstream, which specializes in the oil and gas industry (external link), reported Monday that “serious discussions” about a possible sale have been going on for a long time.

US-based oil service company Halliburton is reportedly most interested in Aker Solutions’ subsea division, but Aker is said to be talking with others as well. The company’s engineering competence in oil field development is also reportedly of interest to prospective Chinese buyers while GE Baker Hughes is said to be interested in MH Wirth, which is owned by Aker’s Akastor unit.

“This is the latest in a string of speculation,” Atle Kigen, spokesman for parent firm Aker, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “We have nothing new to report.”

newsinenglish.no staff