April 21, 2017 / 8:50 AM / 9 months ago

Aker owner Roekke says Aker Solutions, Kvaerner may do M&A in 2017

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian billionaire investor Kjell Inge Roekke aims to change the ownership of one of more of his companies in the oil services industry this year, he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders on Friday.

Through his Aker ASA (AKER.OL) holding company, Roekke is the top owner of several major suppliers to the oil industry, including Aker Solutions (AKSOL.OL) and Kvaerner (KVAER.OL).

Shares of Aker Solutions rose sharply last month following media reports the firm could soon be sold to U.S. competitor Halliburton (HAL.N).

    “We’re open to building larger, stronger companies together with others, or to partly or fully divest,” Roekke wrote on Friday, adding it was still too early to conclude what would be best.

    “It’s through transactions that Aker created the greatest shareholder value ... Therefore I hope and believe that during 2017 there will be changes to the ownership structure in one or more of Aker’s partly-owned oil industry suppliers,” he added.

    The oil-to-fisheries investor, one of Norway’s richest with a net wealth of $2 billion according to business magazine Kapital, last year made headlines when his oil firm bought BP’s Norwegian unit, forming Aker BP (AKERBP.OL) in a $1.3 billion cash and shares deal.

    Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche

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