Historical archive

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy sells shares in Statoil ASA

Historical archive

Published under: Bondevik's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy yesterday placed 100 million shares in Statoil ASA through an off-exchange underwritten block sale after the close of the Oslo Stock Exchange. (07.07.04)

Press release

No.: 80/04E
Date: 07.07.2004

Contact: Sissel Edvardsen, + 47 22 24 61 09

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy sells shares in Statoil ASA

Not for distribution in the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy yesterday placed 100 million shares in Statoil ASA through an off-exchange underwritten block sale after the close of the Oslo Stock Exchange. This corresponds to 4.6 per cent of the shares of the company, and the government will have an ownership stake in Statoil ASA of 77.1 per cent following this sale. The sale was underwritten by Lehman Brothers following a competitive process. Lehman Brothers will place the shares with institutional investors in Norway and abroad.

-We have reduced the government's ownership in Statoil to 77.1 per cent, which is within the authority granted us by Parliament. The development of the company's share price has made it possible to proceed with an offering now, and we thus follow up the long-term goal of reduced state ownership, says Mrs. Thorhild Widvey, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

-The sale may increase the free float and liquidity in the share, which is important to ensure that the valuation of Statoil is in line with comparable companies, says the Minister.

-We will enable private individuals to purchase Statoil shares at the same price as institutional investors will be paying, says Minister Widvey.

The sale to institutional investors will be followed by a retail sale to private persons in Norway and in the EEA area, at the same price as that offered to institutions. The retail sale is expected to commence within a few days, and terms and conditions of that sale will be announced immediately prior to the retail sales period. Up to an additional 17.65 million shares may be sold in the retail offering.

The Storting has authorised the government to reduce the state’s ownership to 2/3 of the company. The Ministry has agreed with Lehman Brothers not to sell additional ordinary shares of Statoil ASA for a period of 180 days following completion of the sale.

For commercial reasons related to the placement by Lehman Brothers of the shares into the market, the exact price will not be published until the publication of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy's budget proposition in connection with the final balancing of the budget. This budget proposition is expected to be published in mid- November.

Statoil ASA was introduced on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges through an Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) of shares in June 2001. The Norwegian state reduced its ownership to 81, 7 percent through the IPO.

UBS Investment Bank has been the financial adviser to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in planning this transaction. The retail sale will be organised by DnB NOR Markets, but will be open to participation by all registered brokers at Oslo Stock Exchange.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell, purchase, exchange or transfer any securities or a solicitation of any such offer in theUnited Statesor any other jurisdiction. Securities may not be offered or sold in theUnited Statesabsent registration or an exemption from registration under US Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the "Securities Act"). Neither Statoil ASA nor any other participant in the transactions described herein intends to register any securities under the Securities Act or with any securities regulatory authority of any state or other jurisdiction in theUnited Statesin connection with the proposals described in this announcement.

This communication is directed only at persons who (i) are outside the United Kingdom or (ii) have professional experience in matters relating to investments or (iii) are persons falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) ("high net worth companies, unincorporated associations etc") of The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2001 (all such persons together being referred to as "relevant persons"). This communication must not be acted on or relied on by persons who are not relevant persons. Any investment or investment activity to which this communication relates is available only to relevant persons and will be engaged in only with relevant persons.

UBS is acting solely for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and no-one else and will not be responsible for providing the protections afforded to customers of UBS nor for providing advice in relation to the transaction.