KVAERNER NEEDS CHANGES
Norwegian oil services firm Kvaerner, which has struggled with high costs and the loss of contracts to cheaper Asian rivals, may seek partners and could see a change in its ownership structure, it said on Wednesday.
Kvaerner, which builds large structures such as platforms for the offshore oil and gas industry, said it had hired an adviser to evaluate strategic options, which could include significantly altering its strategy, business model or ownership, it said in a statement to the Oslo bourse.
"To take the next step to ensure Kvaerner's long term growth and global competitiveness, we will consider further improvement initiatives, new industrial partnerships or changes to ownership structures, as well as a further streamlining of the products and services offered," Chairman Leif-Arne Langoey said.
After losing a series of major contracts in recent years due to high costs and facing idle time at a key yard, Kvaerner streamlined its Norwegian operations and managed to win in June an important contract from Statoil for platform jackets at the Johan Sverdrup field.
Analysts then said the contract gave the firm some time to rethink its strategy and changes could include partnering with Asian firms and moving some operations from Norway, one of the most expensive countries for the sector.
The firm's biggest shareholder with more than 40 percent is Aker Kvaerner Holding, a venture majority owned by Aker ASA , with the Norwegian government holding a minority stake.
Kvaerner said it had retained Greenhill & Co. International LLP to advise on evaluating all strategic alternatives.
Any major change in the ownership structure would require approval from two-thirds of shareholders.
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