Danish transport and energy conglomerate A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S has signed an agreement to sell Maersk Oil to Total S.A  for USD 7.45 billion in a combined share and debt transaction.

As explained by Maersk, the separation of the energy businesses was decided as part of last year’s strategic decision to focus the group’s future activities on transport and logistics, as well as a result of recent years’ oil and gas industry and market developments.

“Maersk Oil is the first of the four energy companies of A.P. Moller – Maersk for which a future structural solution has now been identified. The solutions for Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Service, and Maersk Tankers remain to be defined before the end of 2018,” the company added.

As agreed, Total will take over Maersk Oil’s entire organisation, portfolio, obligations and rights with minimal pre-conditions. It was added that the planned development schedules and investments in strategic and sanctioned projects will be upheld.

“In determining the best future ownership structure for Maersk Oil, it has been imperative for us that the capabilities and assets created in Maersk Oil continue to be developed, and that long-term investments are upheld, especially in the Danish part of the North Sea,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“In my heart and mind, this is a very difficult, but right decision. Maersk Oil has for almost half a century been at the forefront of the Danish oil development, been vital to A.P. Moller – Maersk and to this very day plays a decisive role in the Danish and international oil and gas industry,” Chairman of A.P. Møller Holding A/S, Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla added.

Under the terms of the deal, APMM will see USD 7.45 billion paid by 97.5 million shares in Total S.A. with a value of USD 4.95 billion equal to approx. 3.76% of Total.

In addition, Total is assuming a short-term debt of USD 2.5 billion and all decommissioning obligations currently amounting to USD 2.9 billion.

On its part, Total is said to be planning to maintain Maersk Oil’s position in the North Sea with Copenhagen and Esbjerg bases.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval from relevant authorities, including the Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate and relevant competition authorities. Closing is expected to take place during the first quarter, 2018.