May 16, 2007
The intention is to establish the new company during third quarter 2007, with completion of the transaction subject to certain conditions and obtaining regulatory approvals. The venture would operate under the name "Yara Praxair AS" and would be based in Oslo, Norway. It would be headed by Per Kværum and the Board of Directors would consist of representatives from both companies and the employees. The agreement would result in a one-time net income for Yara of more than NOK 700 million, which is expected to be booked in the third quarter.
Yara and Praxair will review the strategy to expand the industrial gases business further into new product segments and geographical areas. In 2006, Yara's existing industrial gases business had sales of NOK 940 million.
"We are very excited about this new joint venture. Both companies have high ambitions to develop the Scandinavian industrial gases activity further. We are now in a unique position to act together and seize new business opportunities in other regions and in areas with mutual growth interests and ambitions," says CEO and President of Yara International, Thorleif Enger.
Praxair is one of the leading global industrial gases companies with over 1 million customers in 30 countries and a global market share of 15 percent. The joint venture will supply best available technology, new and complementary applications in all end market segments, and world-class plant design and engineering capabilities.
"Combining the strong market position and name recognition that Yara enjoys in Scandinavia with Praxair's operational expertise and technology offerings, particularly in the areas of energy and environmental applications, creates a very compelling partnership," says Chairman and CEO of Praxair, Inc., Steve Angel. "One area of particular interest is combining our technology and experience in enhanced oil recovery projects for certain North Sea oilfields. Also, considering the broad global reach of both organizations, we fully expect there to be additional collaborative ventures in other parts of the world in the future," says Angel.
The new joint venture with Yara will offer Praxair new opportunities to develop its business in Northern Europe. Yara's Scandinavian industrial gases business has over 30,000 customers and more than 100 agents, with an especially strong market position in Norway and Denmark. The unit has an excellent knowledge and expertise base in food preservation, process applications, metal fabrication, specialty gases, medical gases and services.
Yara's CO2 business in Europe will continue as a wholly owned business unit in Yara. Yara will continue to further develop its European CO2-activity, and will supply the new joint venture with CO2 and argon in Scandinavia.
Torgeir Kvidal, Investor Relations
Telephone (+47) 24 15 72 95
Cellular (+47) 91 339 832
Hamed Brodersen, Media Relations
Cellular (+47) 40 468 110
Yara International ASA is a leading chemical company that converts energy and nitrogen from the air into essential products for farmers and industrial customers. As the number one global supplier of mineral fertilizers and agronomic solutions, we help provide food for a growing world population. Our industrial product portfolio includes environmental protection agents that safeguard air and water purity and preserve food quality. Yara's global workforce of 7,000 employees represents great diversity and talent enabling Yara to remain a leading performer in its industry.
Praxair, Inc. is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2006 sales of USD 8.3 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. www.praxair.com