OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Norway's Statoil ASA says it has agreed to sell its retail arm to a Canadian investor for 8.6 billion kroner ($1.5 billion) as the company attempts to focus on exploration and production.
Statoil says Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard has agreed to purchase the 54 percent stake in Statoil Fuel & Retail at what is a 53 percent premium to the current trading price.
Statoil chief financial officer Torgrim Reitan said Wednesday in a statement that the sale will free up capital, streamline business, and allow the company to concentrate on its so-called "upstream activities".
The two sides hope to finalize the deal in the second quarter of this year.
Statoil Fuel & Retail went public and was listed on the Oslo Stockholm Exchange in 2010.