Austria’s OMV mulls cut up into power and chemical compounds companies

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Austrian oil and gas company OMV is pictured on the roof of its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, May 12, 2020. REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s OMV plans to split into separate energy and chemical businesses, the Kurier newspaper reported on Saturday, adding that the company’s board of directors has not yet made a decision on the proposal.

A company spokesman declined to comment on the report, which did not identify sources for the information, and said OMV was working on a new corporate strategy to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2022.

Kurier said a task force had been working on the project for four weeks, which still had to be coordinated with shareholders Mubadala from Abu Dhabi and the Austrian state holding company ÖBAG.

OMV reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter on Friday, thanks in part to its chemicals and materials division, which is focused on its 75% stake in Borealis, of which Alfred Stern is now CEO.

Stern said the new strategy will focus on sustainability.

According to the plan reported by Kurier, Borealis, along with three refineries and filling stations, would be the focus of the new OMV as “OMV Chemicals”.

The Group’s energy exploration and production activities, as well as renewable energy projects, would be spun off into a separate company that would be taken off the stock exchange. OMV would likely sell a majority stake to private equity firms, the report said.

According to the newspaper, OMV could raise 6 to 8 billion euros (9.25 billion US dollars) in fresh capital for the energy business to invest in petrochemicals.

Johann Pleininger, experienced head of OMV Exploration & Production, could lead the energy company, he added.

OMV could buy the remaining 25% of Borealis from Mubadala for an estimated EUR 3 to 4 billion, the paper added.

Both companies could be as big as OMV today in five to six years. Jobs would be preserved and both main branches would remain in Vienna, said Kurier.

($ 1 = 0.8650 euros)

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