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Orkla-Hydro tie-up to close Sept. 1: Sapa exec

Keywords: Tags  Norsk Hydro, Sapa, aluminum, Aluminum Summit, aluminum extrusions, Jeffrey Henderson, Sapa Extrusions North America, Orkla Michael Cowden

NEW YORK — A merger to create the world’s largest extrusion company should by completed Sept. 1, according to Sapa Extrusions North America marketing director Jeffrey Henderson.

Sapa, the new company, results from a "merger of equals" and is a 50-50 joint venture between Norsk Hydro ASA and Orkla ASA, the parent company of Sapa Group, he said during a presentation at AMM’s Aluminum Summit in New York.

The deal has already been approved by regulators in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, Henderson said. The sole holdout is China, which has said that it is waiting for decisions in the United States and Europe before making its own decision, he added.

"We don’t expect any issues at all with the Chinese government, so we are in a position now to see a final hurdle in the coming weeks," Henderson said.

The companies announced European Commission approval of the joint venture last month (, May 13).

"It has been Sapa’s ambition to become the global leader for aluminum extrusions and create a global platform from which we can serve global customers," Henderson said. But until the deal closes, it is still "way too early to know" what business decisions or deeper organizational charts might look like, he said. "It will take analysis and time and careful planning after the close to put the true company together."

The tie-up should give Sapa operating facilities and a presence in 36 countries, as well as more than 100 different operating companies. It will be organized into five business units: Profiles Europe, Profiles Americas, Profiles Asia, Building Systems and Precision Tubing, which focuses on the heat-exchanger market.

The Profiles Americas unit will join North America and South America. Sapa doesn’t currently have a presence in South America, Henderson said. "We will clearly have a nice foothold in new markets for Sapa and new markets for the Hydro products group," he said.

Sapa will move its headquarters to Oslo, Norway, in the fall after the merger closes from its current location in Stockholm, Sweden, Henderson noted.

Henderson also expressed optimism about the aluminum extrusion business. "We are entering an aluminum age where tomorrow’s products will become aluminum-oriented as opposed to other materials that have historically (been) used," he said.

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