COPENHAGEN—Danish industrial conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S said Wednesday it has reached a deal to sell its liquefied-natural-gas transport unit Maersk LNG, as it refocuses on its shipping, container and oil businesses.
The LNG unit, which owns and operates a fleet of six LNG carriers and owns 26% stakes in another two vessels, has been purchased jointly by Teekay LNG Operating LLC and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation for $1.4 billion on a cash and debt-free basis, Maersk said in a statement.
Maersk has sought a buyer for Maersk LNG since it announced its intention of divesting the unit in May. The company said Wednesday the LNG unit doesn’t have the scale to influence how the industry develops.
“As Maersk LNG is not within those core business areas where the Group intends to invest, the conclusion is that Maersk LNG would benefit from a different ownership,” the company said Wednesday.
Maersk said the agreement comprises all of Maersk’s LNG vessels and the stakes it owns in carriers.
The transaction remains subject to customer consent and regulatory approval and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2011, Maersk said.
By FLEMMING EMIL HANSEN (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.