ICA deal delayed

April 7, 1999, 10:00 CEST

The deadline for finalising a deal to sell 50 per cent of Statoil's Scandinavian retailing operation to ICA of Sweden has been postponed for a month.

Plans called for this agreement to be signed by 1 April, reports business development vice president Øivind Holm Karlsen in Marketing. This has now been put off until 30 April.

The need to spend more time than expected reviewing the whole business together with supermarket specialist ICA is one reason for the postponement. Final negotiations have also taken longer.

According to Mr Holm Karlsen, the partners have "a good dialogue". A new business plan is also close to completion.

Once the deal has been signed, it requires European Union approval. Mr Holm Karlsen expects all formalities around the merger to be in place during June.

This agreement means that Statoil and ICA - which recently merged with Norway's Hakon retailing group - will jointly operate about 1,500 service stations in Scandinavia.