UPDATE 1-Aker Solutions sells subsidiary in $654 mln deal

Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:59am EST

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OSLO Nov 22 (Reuters) - Oil services firm Aker Solutions will sell its well intervention business to Swedish private equity firm EQT for 4 billion crowns ($654.31 million) including debt, shifting its focus to deepwater operations, it said on Friday.

Aker Solutions will receive 3.4 billion crowns for the equity stake and will book a gain of up to 1.9 billion crowns. It may also book an additional income based on the unit's performance.

"The sale is part of a strategy to increase our focus on the deepwater and subsea oil-services markets, where Aker Solutions is well-positioned," Executive Chairman Oeyvind Eriksen said. "The well-intervention services business has limited synergies with the rest of the company and will be better able to develop its full potential with EQT as the owner."

Aker Solution has been increasing its focus on the deep waters of Brazil and Africa and said it may sell down assets elsewhere to manage its capital.

Aker Solutions shares jumped on the sale and ended 3 percent higher, well outperforming a 0.4 percent gain by the European oil and gas index.

In addition to the purchase price, the firm will also receive 25 percent of any internal rate of return exceeding 12 percent a year on EQT's equity investment, it added.

Aker Solutions has underperformed its peers this year on concerns about its execution on some key projects and a slowdown in exploration spending growth. Its shares are down 10 percent over the past 12 months versus a 2 percent rise in the European oil and gas index.

($1 = 6.1134 Norwegian krones) (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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