Statoil and ICA sign cooperation agreement

May 12, 1999, 01:00 CEST

The collaboration agreement between Statoil and Sweden's ICA group has now been signed, and the new Statoil Detaljhandel Skandinavia AS company is beginning to take shape.

This company aims to open a pilot convenience store at a Statoil service station in the Oslo area as soon as the deal has been approved by the European Union competition authorities.

Plans call for just over 20 of these outlets, which will be called ICA Express, to be established on Statoil forecourts around Scandinavia during the present year. The two parent companies also intend to integrate their loyalty and charge card programmes.

ICA - incorporating Norway's Hakon Gruppen from 1 January - and Statoil initiated strategic planning for the new company in the autumn of 1998.

To be owned 50-50 by the parent companies, Statoil Detaljhandel Skandinavia will embrace sales of groceries, fast/ready-cooked food, services, motor fuels and car servicing at Statoil's stations.

Revenues for the group's 1 500 Scandinavian outlets totalled roughly NOK 25 billion in 1998, including about NOK 8 billion from non-fuel sales.

The new company will build further on the foundation of the previous business, with a total capitalisation of NOK 7.2 billion and a shareholders' equity of NOK 2.6 billion.

Its strategy is to utilises 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.

Mats Holgerson, former vice president for Statoil's retailing division, has been appointed president of the new company. Sverre Helno, previously vice president for the ICA supermarket chain, will be his deputy.

The interim board of directors during the negotiations has comprised Statoil's Sten Åke Forsberg (chairman) and Øivind Holm Karlsen with Svante Nilsson and Peter Ruzicka from ICA. They will also form the core of the new company's board.

Under the agreement, all employees in Statoil's retailing division are being transferred to the new company.

In addition to EU approval, the deal must be given the green light by the boards of the two companies before it can come into effect.

Statoil ranks today as Scandinavia's leading retailer of oil products, while ICA is the biggest player in the Swedish and Norwegian supermarket sectors.

With its head office in Stockholm, ICA has 2200 supermarkets in Sweden, 1150 in Norway and seven in Latvia. It operates through ICA Handlarnas AB in Sweden and Hakon Gruppen AS in Norway.

Development and operation of Statoil's service stations outside Scandinavia are not affected by the collaboration with ICA.

Further information from:

  • Sten Åke Forsberg, chairman, Statoil Detaljhandel Skandinavia, tel: +47 22 96 20 00
  • Svante Nilsson, chief executive, ICA AB, tel: +46 8 585 502 72
  • Peter Ruzicka, deputy chief executive, ICA, and president, Hakon Gruppen, tel: +47 23 05 50 00, mobile: +47 95 29 85 04
  • Morten Henriksrud, public affairs manager, Statoil, tel: +47 22 96 22 40, mobile: +47 90 01 69 60
  • Elisabeth Lundberg, public affairs manager, ICA, tel: +46 8 585 59 267, mobile: +46 708 65 58 04
  • Bjørn Richard Johansen, public affairs vice president, Hakon Gruppen, tel: +47 23 05 50 00, mobile: +47 95 29 85 00