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Norferm’s future under discussion

October 27, 2005, 10:00 CEST

Statoil has agreed that Norwegian biotechnology company Norferm should begin talks with its workforce over alternatives to the present operational model.

Should negotiations with the unions fail to yield results, a controlled liquidation will be initiated for the company.

The discussions form part of a process which was launched in September, when the owners started a dialogue on future operation of the company.

Involving new parties was one move that was considered, but the process has shown that there is no basis for continued operation of the company

Lack of European Union approval for some Norferm products and failure to meet sales expectations are among the reasons for this decision.

In the event of a controlled liquidation, Statoil, along with the Norferm management and employees, would make active efforts to offer members of Norferm’s existing workforce jobs in Statoil.

Norferm employees will be given the opportunity to apply for posts through the group's in-house job market.