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Delek profits jump as Ithaca deal nears completion

Covid Ithaca North Sea
The FPF-1 vessel for the Greater Stella Area

North Sea newcomer Delek Group posted a significant increase in profits last year as it looks to complete the acquisition of Ithaca Energy.

The Israeli firm said Ithaca’s board had unanimously accepted the near-£1billion offer for the shares Delek does not already hold in the Aberdeen-based company.

Delek currently owns 19.7% of Ithaca, which started production from the North Sea Stella field in February.

Delek expects the offer for Ithaca to close on April 20.

The Netanya-based company achieved pre-tax profits of £244million in 2016 compared with a surplus of £80million the previous year.

Revenues totalled £1.3billion, down from £1.4billion in 2015.

Delek chief executive Asaf Bartfeld said: “Over the past year, we successfully met most of the goals we had set ourselves for 2016; first and foremost, we reached a final investment decision to develop the Leviathan field.

“We also further implemented our strategy towards focusing the group’s activity in the energy arena, particularly expanding our international operations.

“All this has been made possible due our exceptional financial strength and the high level of confidence placed in us by the investment community.

“Looking forward, 2017 will be marked by furthering the group’s international presence, by executing on our strategy to focus on the energy sector, with a goal of becoming a key player in global energy markets.”

Other recent North Sea activities at Delek include the purchase of a 13.18% stake in Faroe Petroleum in December.

Delek had also been in talks with EnQuest over a 20% stake in the Kraken discovery, but the farm-out collapsed in September.

The company is understood to be planning to list in London during 2017.

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