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PR(04)11: EFTA Surveillance Authority closes formal investigation procedure regarding aid to deCODE following the withdrawal of the notification

23.4.2004

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today closed the formal investigation procedure concerning a proposed State guarantee in favour of deCODE Genetics.

In May 2002, the Icelandic Government notified the EFTA Surveillance Authority of the intention to give a guarantee to deCODE Genetics Inc. (US) in relation to a bond amounting to USD 200 million. The proceeds from the bond would be used by deCODE erfðagreining ehf. (Iceland) to establish a new drug development department in Reykjavik. The proposed State aid was meant to enable deCODE Genetics to finance several drug development programmes in parallel during a period of five years.

On 16 July 2003, the Authority opened a formal investigation procedure with regard to the proposed State guarantee. The Authority had doubts on the compatibility of the State guarantee with the State aid provisions of the EEA Agreement, in combination with the Authority’s Guidelines on State aid for Research and Development.

By letter of 14 April 2004, Iceland informed the Authority that there was no longer a need for the State guarantee, which had so far not been issued. Iceland, therefore, withdrew the notification.

The Authority consequently closed the formal investigation procedure. The Authority will inform interested parties by a publication of a summary note in the EEA Section of the Official Journal of the European Union and the EEA Supplement thereto.

For further information, please contact Mr. Amund Utne on tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 50 or Ms. Annette Kliemann on tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 80.

23 April 2004




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