A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has finally found a buyer for its last major energy-division asset after putting it up for sale seven years ago, allowing it to complete a historic transformation into a pure transport operator.
It’s selling Maersk Supply Service for $685 million, based on enterprise value, to A.P. Moller Holding A/S, the investment firm owned by the billionaire Maersk family and a closely related entity of Maersk, the Copenhagen-based firm told Bloomberg News.
The company provides services for the offshore energy sector, ranging from anchor handling to redirecting icebergs away from oil platforms, with a fleet of 36 vessels. It installs offshore wind turbines and helps with decommissioning of subsea energy installations that come to the end of their lifespan.
Denmark’s biggest company outlined in 2016 a historic strategic shift to break up its century-old conglomerate structure and sell all its four big energy assets, which at the time made up one quarter of group revenue and more than three quarters of underlying profit. Instead, Maersk would focus on container transport both at sea and on land.
Since APMH is a major shareholder in Maersk, the parties have obtained an independent fairness opinion on the price from DNB Bank ASA, the company said in an emailed reply to questions. The sale will enable Maersk to focus fully on integrated logistics, it said.
Maersk has been close to selling the Maersk Supply Service before. In 2018 it expected to complete a divestment, citing valuation estimates of $600 million, but ultimately failed to find buyers.
Maersk Supply Service had revenue of $390 million and earned $16 million before interest and tax in 2022. The unit wrote down the value of its fleet by about $300 million in 2021 as part of a new strategy to focus on the assets that better fit with the green transition.
It’s the second of Maersk’s four large energy units to be bought by APMH after the investor paid $1.17 billion for Maersk Tankers in 2017. TotalEnergies SE bought Maersk Oil for about $7.45 billion in shares and debt payments in 2018 while Maersk Drilling was spun off in a stock-exchange listing for about $3.6 billion in 2019.
APMH with $88 billion of assets is run by Robert Maersk Uggla, the great-grandson of Maersk’s founder. Last year, Uggla also became the chairman of Maersk.