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State Aid

PR(06)52: The EFTA Surveillance Authority adopts two decisions regarding the Icelandic cement producer Sementsverksmiðjan hf.

29.11.2006

Today the EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided to extend the formal investigation procedure opened in 2004 on the Icelandic State’s sale of Sementsverksmiðjan hf. Today’s decision concerns the State’s take-over of the company’s pension-related liabilities.

With an agreement signed in 2003 between the Ministry of Finance and the Pension Fund for State Employees, the State took over past and future pending pension-related obligations of the company towards the fund. The Authority preliminarily considers that this measure constitutes state aid to Sementsverksmiðjan hf. and questions whether it may be compatible with the EEA Agreement.

The Authority has also decided today to close part of the formal investigation initiated in 2004. This decision concerns the sale of the State’s shares in Sementsverksmiðjan hf. to the investors group Íslenskt sement ehf. The Authority has concluded that the sale did not involve any state aid and that Íslenskt sement ehf. therefore did not receive any unlawful support as a result of this transaction.

The other issues, in particular the sale of assets from Sementsverksmiðjan hf. to the State, that may involve state aid and were addressed in the decision to open the formal investigation in 2004, will be dealt with together with the pension issue in another final decision.

 

For further information, please contact:
Mr. Amund Utne
Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 50

Ms. Maria Segura
Officer, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 53

 

29 November 2006

 




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