Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian Oil and Energy, Light Metals and Agri group, has signed an agreement with Barwil Agencies AS of W. Wilhelmsen ASA under which Barwil will take over Hydro's ship agency operations in Norway and the BeNeLux. The sale is in line with Hydro's strategy to focus on core activities within its business areas and is part of the still ongoing Agri Turnaround process. The turnaround has more than achieved its goals, and the sale of the ship agency operation is one of the last remaining actions to be taken before the process is concluded at the end of the year.
The revenue of Hydro's ship agency operations covered by the deal, amounted to approximately 18 million NOK in 2000, generated by about 2500 port calls per year. All 18 employees will continue in their respective positions under the new owner.
Barwil Agencies is present in 54 countries around the world and employs 2700 persons spread over 190 offices. In Europe, their main presence has been limited to the Mediterranean and Baltic regions. Barwil's acquisition of Hydro's ship agency operations in Norway and the BeNeLux reflects the company's growth strategy.
The deal gives a good geographical fit, and Hydro Agri will enjoy a continued professional agency service through this alliance with one of the larger players in the agency business. The initial contractual period is three years, starting on December 1, 2001.