THE Norwegian government is increasing its ownership of StatoilHydro from 62.5% to 67% – at a cost of about $4billion.
Preparations to make the necessary stock purchases are under way.
Energy minister Aslaug Haga said it was in Norway’s interest to own a significant percentage of the country’s largest and most important company.
She reminded that the Oslo government advised last year, at the time of the merger of Statoil and Norsk Hydro, that it would be increasing its interest in the company.
The purchase of the additional 4.5% will be paid for with funds from the Government Pension Fund.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has appointed Arctic Securities as its financial adviser and, during the next few weeks, it will be meeting other domestic and international brokerages to carry out the share purchase.
The minister reiterated that it was in Norway’s interests to own a considerable stake in the country’s “largest and most important company”.