REPORT - 18/11/2014: Copenhagen : The owner of the worlds biggest shipping company said it is again looking for acquisition targets after getting rid of units that did not fit with its business goals. AP Moeller-Maersk, which also comprises an oil exploration division and a port operator, will focus on markets where we are already operating, where we have a presence, Karl Thorngren, head of M&A and projects at the company, said in an interview in Stockholm. We know those regions and its easier for us to double up. CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said earlier this year Maersks capital buffers risked growing too big after the company sold its supermarket unit for cash proceeds of $3.2bn. In August, Andersen unveiled Maersks first share buyback programme in its 110-year history in an effort to put some of that excess cash to use.
Maersk has gone through a programme of quite many divestments. Its been about focusing the company on the top 1-3 positions, Mr Thorngren said. From that perspective were gearing more toward acquisitions rather than divestments.
Maersk has about $10bn for capital expenditure from its gross cash flow this year, according to its second-quarter report. Of that, as much as $5bn is earmarked for oil-related projects, he said. There is a quite fluid M&A market in oil, especially as some of the supermajors are retracting from some of their positions, which could be something we look at to grow our own business.