LUDWIGSHAFEN (dpa-AFX) - BASF SE (BFA.L, BASFY.PK) and LetterOne signed a letter of intent to merge their respective oil and gas businesses in a joint venture, which would operate under the name Wintershall DEA.
The oil and gas business of BASF is bundled in the Wintershall Group consisting of Wintershall Holding GmbH and its subsidiaries, including the gas transportation business. The oil and gas business of LetterOne comprises DEA Deutsche Erd?l AG and its subsidiaries.
In the medium term, BASF and LetterOne envisage to list Wintershall DEA through an initial public offering.
In the coming months, BASF and LetterOne will prepare and conduct a confirmatory due diligence and negotiate definitive transaction agreements. Closing could be expected in the second half of 2018, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
It is intended to form Wintershall DEA by LetterOne contributing all its shares in DEA Deutsche Erd?l AG into Wintershall against issuance of new shares to LetterOne. Based on the valuation of the exploration and production businesses, BASF shall initially hold 67% and LetterOne shall hold 33% in Wintershall DEA.
In this shareholding ratio, Wintershall's gas transportation business is not accounted for. As of closing, Wintershall DEA shall issue a mandatory convertible bond to BASF reflecting the value of Wintershall's gas transportation business. No later than 36 months after closing, this bond shall be converted into new shares in Wintershall DEA, resulting in a higher shareholding ratio for BASF.
BASF would determine the chief executive officer and LetterOne the deputy chief executive officer of Wintershall DEA. The company would be headquartered in Kassel and Hamburg, Germany. Following the closing of the transaction, BASF expects to account for its stake in the joint venture under the equity method in BASF's consolidated financial statements.
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