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Agri to be cultivated as listed fertilizer company

June 19, 2003, 10:00 CEST

Norsk Hydro's board of directors has decided to begin preparations for establishing Agri as a separate Norwegian-listed company listed on the Oslo stock exchange. The Hydro group will in the future concentrate its operations fully on the business areas Oil and Energy and Aluminium.

The decision follows a comprehensive review of the portfolio with a view to maintaining the best value creation for the company and its shareholders.

"Hydro’s agricultural operation has carried out a successful turnaround operation, and is well positioned for profitable growth. Agri is the world’s leading fertilizer company and has considerable potential for value creation, which can best be realized through increasing the operation’s financial flexibility and direct access to the capital markets," says President and CEO Eivind Reiten.

"The decision also makes it possible to direct greater attention and financial resources to the significant opportunities for further development in the Oil & Energy and Aluminium business areas."

Agri has 7,300 employees in more than 50 countries and a turnover of NOK 33 billion (EUR 4.2 billion) in 2002. Its present size indicates that Agri will be one of the 10 largest companies on the Oslo stock exchange. The new company will be led by Thorleif Enger, who has been head of Agri since 1999.