Norway's Arne Blystad is moving into the seismic survey sector through a merger of his Songa Bulk with Houston-based Axxis Geo Solutions (AGS).

The Oslo-listed company, which sold its bulker fleet to Star Bulk Carriers last year, said it will assume the assets, rights and obligations of AGS by issuing shares to AGS investors.

AGS is a "leading" pure-play ocean bottom node seismic company," Songa said.

Operations are based on a scalable asset-light strategy through chartering of vessels and nodes. It operates four ships currently.

It has banked more than $1bn in revenue over the last 10 years.

The exchange ratio for the merger is based on an equity value of Songa Bulk of NOK 17.93m ($2.11m), corresponding to a price per share of NOK 0.5, and an equity value of AGS of NOK 514.82m, equal to a price per share of NOK 0.7.

Shareholders of AGS will receive 1.4 shares of Songa Bulk for each AGS share - a total of 1.02bn Songa Bulk shares, representing 96.6% of all its stock.

Songa Bulk name to disappear

Songa Bulk will be renamed Axxis Geo Solutions.

The Blystad company said: "Following completion of the transaction with Star Bulk pursuant to which Songa Bulk sold all its vessels...and the subsequent distributions of shares in Star Bulk and cash to the shareholders in Songa Bulk, Songa Bulk has been a listed entity without any operations and with limited assets.

"AGS' strategy has been to seek a listing on a regulated market in the near future.

"Through the merger, AGS will obtain a listing of its operations and a larger shareholder base. For Songa Bulk, the merger will contribute to a realisation of the remaining shareholder value in the company."

Star Bulk bought the 15 bulkers for 13.7m common shares and $145m in cash.

Blystad and his co-investors had 24.35% of the company in January.

A spokesman for the Blystad group told TradeWinds that Songa Bulk has no employees. AGS had approached the company to seek its Oslo listing, he confirmed.

It is not known if Arne Blystad will seek to invest further in AGS, he added.

The Blystad group controls boxships, tankers, a bulker and tugs.

AGS has been contacted for further comment.