* Companies fail to agree on price of deal - sources
* Merger would create $10 bln company
* Talks unlikely to resume "any time soon" - source
(Adds more detail, background )
By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Ron Bousso
COPENHAGEN/LONDON, Dec 14 Talks between shipping
group A.P. Moller-Maersk and DONG Energy
to merge their oil and gas business have stalled
after the two Danish firms could not agree on a price, industry
and banking sources said on Wednesday.
The breakdown in talks aimed at creating a joint company
worth more than $10 billion may open the door for other bids for
DONG's operations, which it is spinning off as it moves away
from fossil fuels to focus on offshore wind, the sources said.
Several private equity funds, including EIG Global Energy
Partners, have shown interest in DONG, according to banking
Maersk entered talks with DONG in November after announcing
plans to merge or spin off its energy assets as part of a major
restructuring which will shift the company's focus to its
transport and logistics businesses.
This was the second merger attempt of the two businesses in
recent years, the sources said.
Maersk, DONG and EIG were not immediately available to
Bringing together the two Danish companies' oil and gas
divisions was seen by many in the industry as a natural fit,
creating a company focused on the UK and Norwegian North Sea.
But they were unable to agree on the valuation of their
assets and the terms of the merger, several sources close to the
The negotiations were unlikely to resume "any time soon,"
according to one source.
Deal making in the North Sea has slowed down in the past few
years partly as a result of a global oil price slump and a sharp
rise in the number of assets offered for sale in the ageing
basin. Companies such as Royal Dutch Shell,
ConocoPhillips and French utility Engie are
seeking to sell their North Sea operations.
DONG produced 89,000 barrels of oil and gas per day in 2016,
down from 115,000 barrels daily last year. Its main producing
assets include the Ormen Lange, Syd Arne and Laggan-Tormore
Maersk Oil produced an average of 295,000 barrels of oil
equivalent in the first nine months of 2016. It suffered a major
blow when Qatar chose not to extend its 25-year licence to
operate the giant Al Shaheen field and award it from 2017 to
(Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by