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Deal with ICA signed

May 12, 1999, 14:30 CEST

The collaboration agreement signed today, 12 May, between Statoil and Sweden's ICA group creates a new Statoil Detaljhandel Skandinavia company.

Owned 50-50 by the two partners, the new undertaking will operate roughly 1,500 service stations in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

"This gives us a unique opportunity to exploit the strengths of two of the best brands in Scandinavia," says Sten Åke Forsberg, senior vice president for Retailing & Nordic Energy.

The deal must be approved by the European Union competition authorities as well as the boards of the two partners before it can come into effect.
Statoil Detaljhandel Skandinavia will have a total capital of NOK 7.2 billion and a shareholders' equity of NOK 2.6 billion.

ICA is the biggest supermarket chain in Sweden and Norway, where it has 2,200 and 1,150 outlets respectively. Also established in Latvia, it merged with Norway's Hakon Gruppen AS at 1 January.

The new company's strategy will be to utilise both ICA and Statoil brands, which explains why the convenience stores planned for about 500 of the largest stations are being labelled ICA Express.

These outlets will make a strong commitment to customers purchasing groceries as a supplement to their supermarket shopping. The other stations retain traditional forecourt stores with the emphasis on fast food and kiosk products under the Statoil name.

Plans call for just over 20 of the ICA Express stores to be established on Statoil forecourts around Scandinavia during the present year. The first Statoil station with one of these stores is due to open in the Oslo area next month.

The two parent companies also intend to integrate their loyalty and charge card programmes.

Mats Holgerson has been appointed president of Statoil Detaljhandel Skandinavia. Under the agreement, all employees in Statoil's retailing division are being transferred to the new company.

For additional information, see press release