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BASF and LetterOne merge oil and gas businesses

The two signed a Business Combination Agreement to merge their oil and gas businesses and created Wintershall DEA – which will be the largest independent European exploration and production company

Wintershall DEA will have activity in twelve countries across Europe, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East. The combined business would have had pro-forma production of approximately 575,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2017 – almost 70% of which will come from natural gas. Production is expected to rise between 750,000 and 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the early 2020s as the company executes its business plan.

In 2017, the combined business would generate revenue of $5.4bn and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisaion (EBITDA) of $3.2bn. Based on the combined proven (1P) reserves of almost 2.2 bn barrels of oil equivalent at the end of 2017 – the reserves to production ratio of the combines business would approximately be 10 years.

LetterOne and BASF expect to be able to realise synergies equivalent to at least $232mn per annum. In the medium term, the shareholders intend to offer shares in the company to the public through an initial public offering. The combined portfolio and scale of Wintershall DEA will provide significant potential for sustainable, long-term growth.

Wintershall DEA will be jointly headquartered in Hamburg and Kassel. BASF will initially hold 67% and LetterOne will hold 33% of Wintershall DEA—without taking Wintershall’s gas transportation business into account.

Lord Browne, the Executive Chairman of L1 Energy and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DEA, stated: “I am delighted that we have reached agreement to create Europe’s largest independent E&P company. Wintershall DEA is the largest E&P merger in Europe for over a decade, and will have a diverse portfolio of outstanding growth prospects, with the scale needed to access important new opportunities. We expect the company to evolve rapidly into a world-class and globally competitive organisation with an international portfolio. We look forward to working with our new partners to create a disciplined, responsible and sustainable oil and gas company.”

Mikhail Fridman, co-founder of LetterOne, said: “LetterOne is looking forward to working with BASF to create Wintershall DEA, which will be a new and unique international company. We are proud to be part of a very important moment for the energy industry.”

Mario Mehren, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wintershall, will be the CEO of Wintershall DEA. Maria Moraeus Hanssen, CEO of DEA, will be the deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer. In addition, Thilo Wieland, member of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall, and Hugo Dijkgraaf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge, will be on the five-member Management Board of Wintershall DEA.

The appointment of the Chief Financial Officer will be announced in due course.

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