NORWEGIAN brand Kvaerner has made its comeback on the Oslo stock exchange, nearly 10 years after becoming part of Aker Solutions.
The demerger from Aker Solutions and revival of the Kvaerner name, dropped in 2008, will create two businesses with more focus and drive, according to the two companies.
Speaking ahead of the listing, Mariken Holter, Kvaerner senior vice-president of communications, said the business, which focuses on large engineering procurement and construction projects for upstream and downstream oil and gas operators, already had an order book with £13billion of work in the pipeline.
However, she said the new firm was not just a revival of the old Kvaerner.
“It is going to be a specialist engineering, procurement and construction company,” said Mrs Holter.
“We have taken parts of the business from Aker and given it a dedicated management with a commitment to grow. We see a huge market potential in oil and gas and demand.”
Kvaerner, which has 3,500 staff and revenues of $1.46billion, has taken over Aker’s Norway yards at Stord and Verdal. But Kvaerner’s subsea and umbilicals work will go to Aker.
Kvaerner will specialise in complex project delivery but through flexible delivery models – using local fabrication and engineering partners to open up closed markets, or by direct partnership in more open markets – to be competitive, said Mrs Holter.
She said combining Aker Solution’s and Kvaerner’s capabilities, the firm already had a track record in floating platforms, having produced 30 concrete structures and large steel substructures for oil and gas and offshore windfarms.
But the firm recognises the need to expand outside the mature North Sea sector, and is looking to areas like Australia and the Caspian Sea, where it already has work on the Kashagan project.
Mrs Holter also sees potential in concrete offshore structures, especially for harsh environments like the Arctic and eastern Russia, but also for the Americas.
The decision to restructure the business was announced last autumn. It saw Aker Solutions’ process and construction business sold to US firm Jacobs Engineering Group.
Geir Arne Drangeid, vice-president communications at Aker Solutions, said the restructure was about making Aker and Kvaerner more focused companies with clearer profiles, splitting major projects from manufacturing and servicing and allowing both to develop.
It would also satisfy investors who had wanted to invest in either product services companies or project companies.
Aker Solutions will concentrate on concept front-end engineering and design, engineering, process and construction management, maintenance and modification, and brownfield work.
It employs 18,000 people, 2,500 in north-east Scotland, its largest base after Norway, and turns over about $4.56billion.
The firm has plans for revenue growth of 9-15% during 2011-15, mostly from market growth but also from growing its market share and through acquisition.
Aker Solutions’ shareholders have received equal share holdings in Kvaerner.
Like Aker Solutions, Kvaerner will also be 40% owned be Aker Kvaerner Holdings, which in turn is 70% owned by the Aker group.