Feb 2, 2023
OMV Payout Exceeds Forecasts as It Mulls Selling Oil, Gas Assets
(Bloomberg) -- OMV AG promised investors a higher-than-expected payout after record full-year earnings and management confirmed it’s considering selling some exploration and production assets.
Austria’s biggest fossil fuel company wants to pivot toward petrochemicals, pledging to cut oil and gas output by a fifth this decade and reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. That’s led OMV to explore the potential sale of a sprawling portfolio of E&P assets stretching across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
“We will do an active portfolio review,” Chief Executive Officer Alfred Stern told Bloomberg Television in an interview on Thursday. “This is going on at the moment. What we want to make sure of is that we have an optimized portfolio of E&P assets.”
OMV management proposed raising its regular dividend to €2.80 ($3.08) a share, 22% higher than last year. Combined with a proposed €2.25 special dividend, the record €5.05 payout is 6% higher than analyst forecasts.
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the state-backed company is working with advisers to gauge interest in the multibillion-dollar portfolio from private equity and strategic buyers. OMV in March announced plans to transform itself from one of eastern Europe’s biggest fossil-fuel companies to an integrated green enterprise built around chemicals, recycling and electric-vehicle infrastructure.
Shares of OMV have fallen about 5% this year in Vienna, giving the company a market value of about €14.9 billion ($16.2 billion).
--With assistance from Dinesh Nair and Aaron Kirchfeld.
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