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Norsk Hydro, Orkla propose sale of assets to allay fears

Keywords: Tags  Norsk Hydro, Orkla, Sapa, aluminum, extrusions, multiport extrusions, European Commission, merger Jethro Wookey

LONDON — Norsk Hydro ASA and Orkla ASA have proposed divesting two extrusions facilities should the European Commission require it as a condition for their merger.

"The European Commission has expressed preliminary concerns regarding the possible competitive effects of the intended merger in certain markets," Norsk Hydro said late April 18. "The concerns relate to multiport extrusions in Europe and soft alloy extrusions in the Nordic region, in this context defined as Norway and Sweden."

In response to those concerns, the two companies have proposed selling the multiport extrusions facility in Harderwijk, the Netherlands, of Orkla subsidiary Sapa, and Norsk Hydro’s extrusion plant in Raufoss, Norway, which would include the company’s affiliated fabrication plant in Vetlanda, Sweden.

"The European Commission’s initial review period will be extended until May 14, 2013. Provided that it approves the joint-venture transaction subject to these conditions, a divestment process of the plants will be initiated," Norsk Hydro said.

The two Oslo, Norway-based companies agreed to combine all of their aluminum profiles, building systems and tubing businesses into a 50-50 joint venture last October (, Oct. 15).

The planned joint venture has been approved by various other regional competition authorities, including the U.S. Justice Department, but it awaits approval by the European Commission and Chinese authorities.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of this year. 

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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