National authorities to decide Orkla/Carlsberg agreement

As expected, the EU Commission's Merger Task Force concludes that it is up to the relevant national authorities to approve the transfer of Orkla's brewery operations to Carlsberg Breweries AS.

In its letter the EU Commission points out that since the aggregate turnover of Carlsberg's and Orkla's brewery businesses is less than EUR 5 billion it is referring the matter to the national competition authorities, all of whom are expected to announce their decisions in the course of the year.

After the transfer Carlsberg AS will own 60 per cent, and Orkla ASA 40 per cent, of the new company.

Orkla will present its results for the period May - August on 28 September. This presentation will not reflect the establishment of Carlsberg Breweries AS, but will report Pripps Ringnes (100 per cent) as previously. However, Orkla's aim is to incorporate Carlsberg Breweries as a jointly controlled company (40 per cent) in the consolidated annual accounts for 2000, and to have this reflected in the accounts as from 1 July 2000 at the earliest.