UPDATE 1-Helix Energy to shed entire oil and gas business

Mon Mar 8, 2010 7:11am EST

* To transform into a contracting services company

* Says environment favorable for deal

March 8 (Reuters) - Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc (HLX.N), an operator of offshore oil and gas facilities, said it is looking to divest its entire oil and gas business.

Helix intends to become a contracting services company focused on deepwater well intervention and subsea construction, the company said in a statement.

The company did not provide a timetable for the divestment, but said the business environment has become favorable for a transaction.

Helix is engaging financial advisers to assist it with the deal.

As part of the transformation, Robert Murphy, executive vice president of oil and gas is leaving the company, Helix said.

In December 2008, the company had announced plans to divest some non-core assets, including all or part of its oil and gas asset.

In June last year, Helix Energy said it intends to reduce its stake in its majority owned subsidiary, Cal Dive International Inc DVR.N to 25 percent and offer 20 million Cal Dive common shares. [ID:nBNG444545]

Shares of Houston, Texas-based company closed at $11.86 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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