The two companies employ roughly 2,200 people (including contractual staff) within the areas of industrial maintenance, projects and service in Norway, Sweden and Germany. The sales price for the two companies’ entire share capital is approximately NOK 800 million, which gives Hydro an accounting gain of approximately NOK 600 million when the transaction is completed.
BIS is a leading international company in maintenance and service operations for the process industry. BIS is a subsidiary of the Bilfinger Berger group, which has its HQ in Munich, Germany. The company employs about 15,000 people and had a turnover of EUR 1.3 billion in 2006.
The sale comprises HPP’s and PT's Norwegian operations in Grenland, Rjukan, Karmøy, Høyanger, Årdal, Sunndal and Glomfjord, as well as Stenungsund in Sweden and Neuss in Germany. The sale will result in the continuation of HPP’s and PT’s activities with an owner whose core business comprises these activities. Hydro will retain 15 percent of the shares in HPP and PT until the end of 2009. The shares will then be sold to BIS at the agreed price, plus a premium reflecting the companies' earnings for the period.
HPP and PT had a turnover in 2007 of approximately NOK 2 billion, following solid growth in 2006. Roughly two-thirds of this turnover is derived from long-term contracts and the biggest customers are found in process industries and energy production. HPP and PT have a total order reserve of about NOK 3.6 billion.
The transfer can formally take place when the approval of the competition authorities in the countries in question has been obtained, and the outstanding formalities between the parties settled.
“The agreement supports Hydro’s strategy of focusing on the production and manufacture of aluminium. An important concern of ours has been to see that the HPP and PT employees’ jobs are secured and that their expertise continues to be utilized in a company with a long-term commitment to industrial maintenance, projects and service,” comments Executive Vice President John O. Ottestad in Hydro.
“Its expertise and size makes Bilfinger Industrial Services a good owner. We are also confident of further development and growth. This sale is in accordance with our previously announced plans, and all existing contracts will continue,” states HPP’s Managing Director, Morten Mathisen.
“With this important acquisition Bilfinger Berger Industrial Services AG intensifies its growth in Norway and Scandinavia. The services offered by the Hydro companies extend our product spectrum in an ideal way, enabling us to offer a complete range of industrial services in Scandinavia,” comments Chief Executive Officer Thomas Töpfer of Bilfinger Berger Industrial Services AG.
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 t 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.
Lars Nermoen, Public Affairs Manager, Hydro
t: + 47 22538060 / m: +47 90240153 / e: Lars.Nermoen@hydro.com
Stefan Solberg, Head of Investor Relations, Hydro
t: +47 22539280 / m: +47 91727528 / e: Stefan.Solberg@hydro.com
Alexander Görbing, Head of Corporate Communications, Bilfinger Berger Industrial Services AG
t: +49 (0) 89 1 49 98 135
: February 19, 2008