Denmark's Maersk to spin off drilling business, sell down Total stake

COPENHAGEN, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Danish shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Friday it would spin off its offshore drilling operation and list the unit in Copenhagen next year.

Maersk also said in a statement that following the demerger of Maersk Drilling, a "material part" of its remaining shares in French oil major Total will be distributed to its shareholders.

The Danish company cut its full-year profit outlook this month and as part of a major restructuring last year sold its oil and gas business, Maersk Oil, to Total in a $7.5 billion deal that saw it take an equity stake in the French firm.

The announcement came as Maersk confirmed preliminary second-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $883 million. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen Editing by Alexander Smith)