Orkla and Norsk Hydro (“Hydro”) have entered into an agreement whereby Hydro is to purchase Orkla’s 50% interest in Sapa.
The sale is in line with Orkla’s strategy of being a leading branded consumer goods company.
Since the establishment of the joint venture company Sapa (“Sapa JV”) in 2013, the company has more than tripled its profit and become the world’s leading manufacturer of extruded aluminium profiles, with a turnover of NOK 53 billion and 22,400 employees. The joint venture agreement originally formed between Orkla and Hydro contained provisions stipulating joint ownership for at least three years.
“After more than three years of successful partnership, this is now an appropriate time for Orkla to turn over ownership to Hydro. The establishment of Sapa JV has been a success story, and with Hydro as owner, Sapa will have a good industrial platform for further development. For Orkla, the sale is a natural consequence of our strategy of becoming a focused branded consumer goods company,” says Orkla President and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka.
The parties have agreed on a purchase price that values Sapa at a total of NOK 27 billion (on a debt-free basis). The final purchase price will be determined on the basis of the statement of financial position as of the date of completion. The purchase price will be paid in cash at completion.
Orkla has been a shareholder in Sapa since 2005. When Sapa JV was established in 2013, Gränges was spun off and subsequently listed on the Stockholm stock exchange at a total sales value of approximately NOK 5 billion. At the time Sapa JV was established, Orkla received a cash settlement of NOK 1.8 billion. For 2016, Orkla has received an ordinary dividend of NOK 1.5 billion. Orkla thus expects to realise a total value of more than NOK 20 billion from its original investment in Sapa.
Today’s transaction entails a gain of approximately NOK 5 billion for Orkla. Under Norwegian tax law, this gain generates no tax liability.
The Board of Directors of Orkla will propose that a special dividend of NOK 5 per share be paid out after the agreement is completed. The Board proposes that the special dividend be approved and paid out as soon as practically possible after completion of the agreement with Hydro.
Even after payment of the special dividend, Orkla will have a very solid financial platform that will provide a foundation for both continued growth and good dividend capacity. In line with Orkla’s capital allocation strategy, the first priority is to strengthen the Branded Consumer Goods business through acquisitions and investments in existing operations.
The agreement is subject to the approval of relevant competition authorities, including the EU, China, Brazil, Canada and Turkey, and is expected to be completed in the course of 2017.
More detailed information on Sapa, including on the company’s Board of Directors and executive management and key figures, may be found in the separate attachment. Further information on the transaction and its significance for Orkla is also included in the separate attachment.
A telephone conference was held in English for investors and analysts on Monday, 10 July 2017 at 10.00 a.m. CET.