Skip to content

EU approves joint venture in aluminium solutions

The EU Commission has approved today the transaction between Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA and branded consumer goods group Orkla ASA to form a 50/50 joint venture within aluminium solutions, to be named Sapa. Pending necessary approval from Chinese competition authorities, the parties expect the transaction to be completed in third quarter 2013, at the latest.

The transaction has already been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and relevant competition authorities in several other jurisdictions. The parties also need approval from Chinese competition authorities (MOFCOM), which is currently evaluating the transaction.

Due to limited overlap of the parties' operations in China, the parties expect the transaction to be approved. The timing of the approval from MOFCOM is difficult to determine, but the parties expect the transaction to be approved in the third quarter, at the latest.

Approval from the EU Commission is conditioned on a sale of Hydro's aluminium profile operations at Raufoss in Norway and its affiliated fabrication plant in Vetlanda in Sweden, as well as Sapa's multi-port extrusion (MPE) operations in Harderwijk in the Netherlands. The parties have started the process to divest these businesses in line with the Commission's decision.

From June 1 and until closing, Arnstein Sletmoe, who has been appointed CFO of the new Sapa joint venture, will head up Hydro's Extruded Products business area. At the same time, Executive Vice President Hans-Joachim Kock, currently head of Extruded Products, will take over as Head of Finance in the Bauxite & Alumina business area and leave the Corporate Management Board (CMB), as previously announced. Sletmoe will report directly to CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg, but will not be part of the CMB.