Norway's Hydro drops plan to buy Rio Tinto assets

15 September 2018

Norway’s Hydro said on Friday it had dropped plans to buy several of Rio Tinto’s assets, including an aluminum plant in Iceland, after approval from European Commission regulators took longer than anticipated.

In February, Hydro made an offer to buy the aluminum plant, as well as a 53 percent stake in a Dutch anode facility Aluchemie and 50 percent of the shares in a Swedish aluminum fluoride plant Alufluor for about $345 million.

“The European Commission competition approval process has taken longer than anticipated and remains outstanding,” Hydro said in a statement.

“After considering alternative timelines, outcomes and developments, Hydro requested to terminate the transaction and the parties have signed a termination agreement,” it said.

Hydro has withdrawn its EU competition filing, it added.

Hydro, which is not interested in acquiring aluminum plants that use coal-fired power, was hoping the deal would be part of efforts to make its output as green as possible and bolster its position in Europe.

Under the deal, Hydro would have been the sole owner of the Dutch factory, while the Swedish factory would have been 50/50 owned with fertilizer maker Yara International.