Orkla jumps as Posco eyes Elkem

Bookmark and Share

Shares in Norwegian industrial concern Orkla have jumped since news broke that South Korean steelmaker is considering a bid for Orkla’s metals unit Elkem — or at least parts of it.

People walk past a POSCO logo at the company's headquarters in Seoul August 30, 2010. South Korean steelmaker POSCO is considering a takeover of Norway's Elkem, a maker of silicon for solar panels, POSCO CEO Chung Joon-yang said, in a move that would give the world's No.3 steelmaker a presence in the fast growing renewable energy materials space. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS ENERGY)

Reuters quoted Posco chairman Chung Joon-yang as saying his company was evaluating an Elkem purchase internally. Posco is the world’s third-largest steel producer and its own shares rose 2.6 percent on the news. Shares in Orkla, which took over Elkem several years ago, rose 4.4 percent on Monday and kept edging up on Tuesday despite an otherwise falling market.

That would indicate investors consider the possible Posco-Elkem match a good one, also for Orkla, whose executives already have been claiming that the conglomerate should slim down and simplify its structure. It’s already sold off its Orkla Media unit and parts of Elkem Aluminium, but remains involved in everything from frozen pizzas to laundry soap, renewable energy, metals and finance.

It remained unclear whether Posco (Pohang Iron and Steel Co, based in Pohang) is interested in all of Elkem or only its silisium unit that caters to the solar business. Orkla officials wouldn’t comment.

Views and News staff