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Norsk Hydro to Drop Share Listing on NYSE

AP
Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 | 6:59 AM ET

Norsk Hydro, one of Norway's largest companies, on Tuesday announced plans to withdraw its shares from the New York Stock Exchange as part of an effort to streamline and simplify operations and financial reporting.

The shares will still be listed on the Oslo and London stock exchanges, the company said.

Norsk Hydro this month sold its oil and gas division to larger Norwegian rival Statoil -- now called StatoilHydro -- and is now operating as a pure aluminum and power generation company, with about 25,000 employees.

"As a focused aluminum company, we are committed to reducing the complexity of our operations. The de-listing and de-registration will enable us to simplify financial reporting processes, while maintaining the same high-quality financial reporting and disclosures," said John O. Ottestad, Norsk Hydro's chief financial officer said.

He said corporate governance would not be affected, and that the group will continue to have a strong focus on serving U.S. investors.

About 15 percent of Norsk Hydro's shares are held by U.S. investors, but only about three percent of worldwide trading in the company's shares was in the American market during the past 12 months, a statement said.

"The board has not found sufficient grounds for a continued U.S. listing and registration," the statement said.

"Internationalization of capital markets and the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards as the primary financial reporting standards in Europe have also significantly reduced the need for and benefit of multiple stock exchange listings."

The delisting is expected to be completed early next year, pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said. It said it also plans to delist its shares from the stock exchanges in Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.

Norsk Hydro shares were up just over one percent at 79.40 kroner ($14.70,10.31 euros) in midday trading on the Oslo stock exchange.

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