Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA advanced to a three-week high after it agreed to buy stakes in fields offshore Norway, Bloomberg said Oct. 28.
Poland’s dominant gas company, known as PGNiG, gained as much as 1.6% to 4.99 Polish zloty in Warsaw, the highest since Oct. 7. It traded 0.8% higher at 4.95 zloty at 2:10 p.m. The stock has dropped 3.9% this year, compared with a 1.7% increase by Warsaw’s benchmark WIG20 index.
The state-controlled company agreed to buy from Total SA (NYSE: TOT) stakes in three oil-producing fields as well as in one other that’s being developed for a total 1.95 billion Norwegian kroner (US$295 million), it said in a statement late Oct. 27. The acquisition will increase PGNiG’s output outside Poland by 60%, or about 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent this year.
“We find this piece of news positive,” Flawiusz Pawluk, an analyst at UniCredit SpA, said in a research note Oct. 28. “The price paid for these assets looks to be fair.”
PGNiG will pay about 45% of the acquisition price from cash flow generated by the assets from the start of this year until the transaction is completed. The rest will be financed from banking loans. The company expects cash flows from the takeover to cover the purchase price by 2016, it said.
The company more than doubled its oil output in 2013 from a year earlier after starting production in Norway and opening a new well in its home country. The Oct. 27 acquisition will allow the company to keep the increased level of output for at least 10 years, CEO Mariusz Zawisza said an emailed statement Oct. 27.
PGNiG’s domestic peers have followed its example, with oil refiner Grupa Lotos SA buying assets in the Nordic country last year, while PKN Orlen SA, which bought its first oil fields in Canada in 2013, said last week it could also invest in Norway.
The Warsaw-based company is looking for an adviser on an acquisition of more than 2 billion zloty, it said this month without giving further details.
“We believe PGNiG has not said the last word in terms of M&A [mergers and acquisitions],” Wojciech Kozlowski, an analyst at BESI Grupo Novo Banco, said in a note Oct. 28.
The takeover project of more than 2 billion zloty is in an early stage, it might be a purchase outside of Norway and it could also reflect gas market liberalization in Poland, Adam Kucza, of the company’s investor relations department, said on a conference call with analysts Oct. 28.
The drive of PGNiG for more acquisitions isn’t that strong after the Oct. 27 purchase, PGNiG Upstream International CFO Cyryl Fedorowicz said on the call. The company’s approach will be now more “opportunistic.”
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