Statoil said to examine deals as government loosens control

|About: Statoil ASA (STO)|By:, SA News Editor

Statoil (STO -0.5%) is studying overseas acquisitions that would allow it to diversify away from Norway and perhaps vault it toward supermajor status among global oil producers, Bloomberg reports.

Analysts say STO could unlock billions for a large-scale international acquisition if the Norwegian state were to go ahead with proposals to reduce its current 67% holding in the company.

Diluting the government stake to 51% could allow the issuance of more than $22B in new shares for use in a takeover, at current prices, the report says; STO also has the lowest ratio of net debt to EBITDA among integrated European energy producers, providing plenty of financing room.