Container shipping group AP Moller-Maersk has agreed to sell its oil and gas division to Total for $7.45bn, as it seeks to focus on its core transport and logistics businesses. APMM will receive approximately $4.95bn in Total shares, and Total will assume $2.5bn of short term debt to fund the remainder of the deal. It will also take over all decommissioning obligations, worth around $2.9bn. APMM says it intends to return “a material portion” of the value of Total shares to APMM shareholders by 2019 in the form of extraordinary dividends, share buybacks, or distribution of Total shares. Total promised to “maintain Maersk Oil’s strong position in the North Sea,” and its deal comes after it said last month it was ready to make acquisitions while global assets were still cheap. Patrick Pouyanne, chief executive, said in July that the company had a “strong balance sheet” and would “take advantage of the low-cost environment by being able to launch profitable projects and acquire resources under attractive conditions”.