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Hydro to divest its seaweed extract activities to Valagro

July 1, 2002, 01:00 CEST

Norsk Hydro ASA and Valagro S.p.A. have entered into an agreement whereby Valagro acquires Hydro's aubsidiary Algea AS.

The transaction also includes the subsidiaries Maxicrop UK, Maxicrop NZ and Maxicrop Australia. All these companies are based on seaweed.  Gellyfeed AS, running a patented feed consept for salmon and cod, is not included in the transaction.

The divestment of these companies is in line with Hydro's strategy to focus on core activities within its business areas Oil and Energy, Aluminium and Agri and is part of the Agri Turnaround process. The Agri Turnaround has exceeded its goals, and the divestment of Algea is one of the last remaining elements before project completion.

Norwegian anthorities have no objection to the agreement.

Algea is one of the main producers of seaweed extract in the world. Seaweed extract is an organic product used as a biostimulant, a product that can improve the quality of the plant. The extract is manufactured and marketed under the trade mark Maxicrop to the agriculture, horticulture, hobby gardening and amenity industries, in addition to the livestock industry. Algea AS manufactures at three different sites in Norway and has a sales office in Oslo. The company has some 30 employees.

Valagro focuses in speciality products for the agriculture, garden and amenity industries, in particular water soluble fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, products containing trace elements and biostimulants. Products are marketed through a world wide sales network with local companies in Europe and North and South America.

Valagro has been one of Algea’s most important customers over the last 15 years. Through the acquisition of Algea, Valagro will further develop the main components of the biostimulant business.