Hafslund holding sold

November 22, 1999, 16:00 CET

A holding of 13.4 million shares in Norwegian energy company Hafslund has been sold by Statoil today – 22 November – for NOK 668 million.

Acquired by the Oslo Energi power utility, these shares embrace 19.58 per cent of the voting stock in Hafslund and 11.58 per cent of its total capital.

The shares were acquired by Statoil in May 1996 in connection with the demerger of Hafslund and the Nycomed pharmaceuticals group.

This investment was seen at the time as a strategic holding in Norway's first listed electricity generator, and as an important building block in the group's development as an energy company.

But the deadlocked ownership structure in Hafslund has made it difficult for Statoil to realise its strategic opportunities, explains Thore Kristiansen, vice president for mergers and acquisitions.

As a result, the shares were re-categorised as a financial holding.

Nor has Statoil been satisfied with the development of the Hafslund share price and the return provided by its holding.

The group no longer has any voting stock in Hafslund.