Mikhail Fridman´s LetterOne announced on December 7, 2017, that it has signed a Letter of Intent with German BASF to combine the parties' oil & gas businesses in a joint venture. The new merged entity would operate under the name Wintershall DEA.
Wintershall DEA would have significant growth potential and be one of the largest independent European exploration and production companies.
In the medium term, L1 Energy and BASF intend to list Wintershall DEA through an IPO.
Wintershall DEA's CEO will be determined by BASF, with the Deputy CEO being determined by L1 Energy.
The company shall be headquartered jointly in Hamburg and Kassel.
Lord Browne, the Executive Chairman of L1 Energy said: «Wintershall DEA will be one of Europe's largest independent E&P Companies, with the scale needed to generate sustainable growth long into the future. We look forward to creating jointly with BASF a new company, with activities in new places, new perspectives and new prospects for the future»
Closing could be expected in the 2nd half of 2018, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Until closing, DEA and Wintershall will continue to operate as independent companies
Based on the valuation of the exploration and production businesses, BASF shall initially hold 67% and L1 Energy shall hold 33% of Wintershall DEA.
LetterOne is controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, he bought DEA from German utility RWE for €5.1 billion in 2015.