Equinor expands in energy trading and services through acquisition of Danske Commodities
Equinor has reached agreement to buy 100% of the shares in Danish energy trading company Danske Commodities (DC) for EUR 400 million, with smaller contingent payments depending on DC’s performance over the next couple of years. This acquisition – of one of Europe’s largest short-term electricity traders – supports Equinor’s development towards becoming a broad energy company. DC is also active in short-term gas trading and provides energy market services.
DC was founded in 2004 and is based in Aarhus, Denmark, with 284 employees. In 2017 it traded 318 terawatt hours of electricity across 37 countries, equal to more than two times Norway’s annual electricity consumption, and 389 terawatt hours of gas across 18 countries, around one third of total Norwegian gas production. It completes more than 4000 trades and processes around 173 terabytes of data every day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The transaction supports Equinor’s move from being an upstream oil and gas company to becoming a broad energy company. Equinor is building a material industrial position in profitable renewable energy, and expects to invest 15-20% of its capital expenditure in new energy solutions by 2030. The transaction will enable both Equinor and DC to create value along the full electricity value chain and provide DC with a partner that supports their growth plans.
“Danske Commodities’ trading platform and geographic footprint will support our strategy through leveraging DC’s material trading position in electricity and natural gas. Their success has been due to their agility, entrepreneurialism and speed to market. We look forward to welcoming their talented workforce to the Equinor group,” says Jens Økland, Equinor’s executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing.
“This transaction will strengthen our ability to capture value from our current and future equity production of renewable electricity and supports our aim to grow in new energy solutions. We see excellent opportunities to develop our collective understanding of various national markets in a world where renewables to a larger and larger degree will be exposed to market risk,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for new energy solutions.
Danske Commodities’ CEO Henrik Lind will continue to lead the business for at least 12 months after the transaction closes; the senior management group will remain in place, ensuring continuity for customers, employees and counterparties.
“Under Equinor’s ownership Danske Commodities will benefit from a stronger financial position and a portfolio of gas and renewable assets across Europe that can be optimised in the short-term dynamic market and give us further trading opportunities. We will have an owner with big ambitions in renewables that can accelerate our ability to scale and make investments, and whose values and people are a strong match and fit with our own,” says Danske Commodities CEO Henrik Lind.
Closing is subject to certain conditions, including European Commission approval.