Aker Solutions announces new CEO, merger with Kvaerner

Source: press release, 17 July 2020

photo: Aker Solutions
photo: Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions is launching a series of structural and strategic changes to transform the company and enhance shareholder value by spinning off the wind and carbon capture businesses to shareholders and merging Aker Solutions ASA with Kværner ASA to create an optimised supplier company. Kjetel Digre has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Aker Solutions, effective August 1, 2020, and will lead the combined company.

Aker Solutions intends to spin off its wind development business as well as the carbon capture technology business to Aker Solutions’ shareholders in two separate companies expected to be admitted to trading on Merkur Market on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

“Aker Solutions has developed technology and taken strong positions in markets for offshore wind and carbon capture, utilisation and storage,” says Øyvind Eriksen, Chairman of Aker Solutions. “However, it has become increasingly clear that these businesses represent value creation opportunities in a world transitioning to green solutions at accelerated speed and have more potential as stand-alone companies than as an integrated part of an oil service business.”

“Renewables and green technologies have entirely different value chains, customers, investor bases and sources of funding. Capitalising and separating the offshore wind and CCUS business areas from Aker Solutions present a unique opportunity for growth and value creation,” says Eriksen.

Aker Solutions will be an alliance partner and preferred supplier to both companies to create revenue and customer value within wind and CCUS markets.

Kjetel Digre will on August 1 join Aker Solutions as CEO. Digre joins from Aker BP, where he held the role of Senior Vice President of Operations and Asset Development.

“Kjetel has done a remarkable job as project director for the Johan Sverdrup development, where his ability to bring together people and organisations to foster strong collaboration yielded great results. I’m confident that Kjetel will do a great job leading the new company,” says Eriksen. “I would also like to thank Luis Araujo for his leadership as CEO of Aker Solutions for the past 6 years.”

Idar Eikrem, currently Chief Financial Officer of Kvaerner, has been appointed CFO of Aker Solutions, effective 1 August. Eikrem will step down as CFO of Kvaerner on the same date.

Kvaerner and Aker Solutions have entered into a merger plan, whereby the two entities will join forces to create a new supplier company with a stronger position as a solid execution partner, enabling sustainable, low-carbon oil and gas production, and accelerating growth in renewable energy industries. Aker Solutions and Kvaerner have agreed to merge the companies based on the principle of equal parties. The name of the new company will be Aker Solutions ASA.

Kvaerner and Aker Solutions have for many years been successful suppliers to customers operating energy production facilities, especially to oil companies with oil and gas fields. Customers in this market are increasingly asking for solutions with reduced environmental footprint, and new customers ask for renewable energy solutions.

“By combining the two companies and their complementary resources, we will be able to deliver a more complete offering to a global energy industry,” says Leif-Arne Langøy, current chairman of Kvaerner and also proposed new chairman of Aker Solutions.