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PR(00)20: The EFTA Surveillance Authority clears the Norwegian state’s involvement with the Information Technology Centre at Fornebu

16.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided yesterday not to raise objections to the Norwegian State’s involvement with the establishment of an Information Technology Centre (IT-Centre) at Fornebu (the site of the former Oslo Airport).

The Norwegian State’s involvement in the IT-Centre is partly that the State participates in an increase in share capital in two limited enterprises with the aim of establishing and running the IT-Centre, and partly that the State sells its property at Fornebu to one of the enterprises.

The Authority received a notification from the Norwegian authorities on 25 May 2000.

The Authority found that the Norwegian State as investor is not in any less favourable position than similar private shareholders. The Authority’s conclusion is therefore that the Norwegian State’s role as an investor in the IT-Centre does not raise any concern from a State aid point of view.

Concerning sale of land and buildings, the Norwegian Parliament on 7 March 2000 decided that the price for the land and buildings should be reduced by 5% (equals EURO 4.1 million) compared to the estimated market value (EURO 82.7 million) as set by a group of appraisers. In a letter dated 2 October 2000 to the Norwegian authorities, the Authority stated that this reduction might not be in accordance with the State aid rules. This reduction was revoked in an amended notification received 29 November 2000 and is therefore no longer an issue for the Authority. The Authority concludes that the sale of land and buildings has been conducted in accordance with the rules and that there is no State aid element in the agreement on the sale of land and buildings.

For further information please contact Mr. Amund Utne (Tel. (+32) 22 86 18 50) or Mr. Rolf Egil Tønnessen (Tel. (+32) 22 86 18 56).

 

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