Wintershall, DEA confirm merger intention

BASF and LetterOne have signed a letter of intent to merge their oil and gas subsidiaries Wintershall and DEA Deutsche Erdöl.


If ratified, this would operate under the name Wintershall DEA.


The groups say their intention is to create a basis for further profitable growth, optimise the portfolio footprint of their combined businesses, and to realise synergies.


Wintershall DEA would be one of the largest independent European exploration and production companies, they add.


DEA, formerly part of RWE AG, was acquired by LetterOne in March 2015. The company has around 1,150 employees, and stakes in production facilities and E&P concessions offshore and onshore Germany, Norway, Denmark, Egypt, Algeria, and Mexico.


Wintershall’s focus is on E&P offshore north-west Europe, Russia, South America, North Africa, and the Middle East. It employs around 2,000 staff worldwide and is Germany’s largest internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer.


Assuming due diligence and definitive transaction agreements, the merger should go through during the second half of 2018.


BASF would initially hold 67% and LetterOne 33% in the new entity, which does not include Wintershall’s gas transportation business.


The combined production volumes of the two companies amounted to 215 MMboe in 2016, equating to output of around 590,000 boe/d.


BASF would determine the new company’s CEO and LetterOne the deputy CEO.


Wintershall DEA would be headquartered in Kassel and Hamburg.