Apache Corp. agreed to sell its Australian unit, Apache Energy Ltd., for $2.1 billion in cash in favour of a group of private-equity investors, the latest step in the company’s effort to refocus on U.S. shale drilling.
The sale marks the Apache’s APA, +0.26% exit from its Australian exploration and production business. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. are managing the group of buyers.
The Houston-based energy company, one of the biggest in the U.S., expects to close the deal in the middle of this year.
“Today’s announcement represents a notable step in Apache’s strategic portfolio repositioning,” said Chief Executive John Christmann. Once the transaction is complete, about 70% of Apache’s production will come from North America onshore, he added.
The company has been under pressure in recent months from activist investor Jana Partners LLC, which has been pressuring management to sell or spin off its international operations and focus on drilling in the U.S.