Italy’s Eni and Norwegian firm HitecVision have divested a combined 5% stake in Norwegian oil firm Vaar Energi (VAR), for $530m.

In February 2022, Vaar was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, representing the largest oil exploration and production (E&P) company worldwide to be listed in nearly a decade.

Following the closure of the deal, Eni owns 1.57 billion shares in Vaar Energi, corresponding to approximately 63.1% of the outstanding shares and votes in the company.

Through its unit Point Resources, HitecVision now retains nearly 517 million shares, which represents an approximately 20.7% stake in the company.

With the sale, free float in Vår Energi increased to 16.2%, from11.2%.

Eni CFO Francesco Gattei said: “This operation confirms the success of Vår Energi’s listing and the effectiveness of our strategy in setting up satellite companies with the ability to access the markets independently, generating value.

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“The excellent trend in the share performance of Vår Energi, which recorded an increase of over 60% three months after the listing, has unlocked the opportunity to place on the market additional shares, thus increasing the liquidity on the stock and further consolidating and expanding the shareholder base of institutional investors.”

Earlier this year, Vår Energi was awarded ten new licences following the Awards in the Predefined Areas 2021 (APA) by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Norway (MPE).

These licences include five operatorships and five partnerships and are distributed over the three main oil and gas provinces in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).