The purpose of the inspection was to establish whether any irregular exchange of information between the two companies had taken place, pending the European Commission's approval of the planned transaction.
As usual in transactions pending regulatory approval, Hydro has taken necessary measures to ensure compliance with competition regulations from the time the transaction was signed on May 21 this year.
Hydro is unaware of any irregularities related to the planned transaction and is assisting the European Commission with its inspection.
Hydro expects the planned transaction to be completed in first quarter 2008, in line with previous announcements.
Certain statements contained in this announcement constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Section 27A of the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In order to utilize the “safe harbors” within these provisions, we are providing the following cautionary statement.
Certain statements included within this announcement contain (and oral communications made by us or on our behalf may contain) forward-looking information, including, without limitation, those relating to (a) forecasts, projections and estimates, (b) statements of management’s plans, objectives and strategies for Hydro, such as planned expansions, investments or other projects, (c) targeted production volumes and costs, capacities or rates, start-up costs, cost reductions and profit objectives, (d) various expectations about future developments in Hydro’s markets, particularly prices, supply and demand and competition, (e) results of operations, (f) margins, (g) growth rates, (h) risk management, as well as (i) statements preceded by “expected”, “scheduled”, “targeted”, “planned”, “proposed”, “intended” or similar statements.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and forecasts that, by their nature, involve risk and uncertainty. Various factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in a forward-looking statement or affect the extent to which a particular projection is realized. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: our continued ability to reposition and restructure our upstream and downstream Aluminium business; changes in availability and cost of energy and raw materials; global supply and demand for aluminium and aluminium products; world economic growth, including rates of inflation and industrial production; changes in the relative value of currencies and the value of commodity contracts; trends in Hydro’s key markets and competition; and legislative, regulatory and political factors. For a detailed description of factors that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, please refer to the risk factors specified under “Risk review – Risk factors” on page 134 of our Annual Report 2006 (including Form 20-F) and subsequent filings on Form 6-K with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Hydro disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
|Norsk Hydro ASA
Telephone: +47 22 53 81 00
Fax: +47 22 53 27 25
Published: December 12, 2007