Alcoa, Orkla Joint Venture Gets EU Approval

Joint venture will have 30 plants with 12,000 employees.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ European Union regulators on Friday cleared the proposed formation of a joint venture between U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. and Orkla ASA, a Norwegian chemicals, food, media and investment group.

The venture with Orkla's subsidiary Sapa AB will link the companies' aluminum soft alloy extrusion business.

''The transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the (European market) or any substantial part of it,'' the European Commission said.

Soft alloy extrusions are alloy profiles used in industries such as construction and car making.

The commission said the venture will have about 30 plants employing over 12,000 people in more than a dozen countries. However, the EU antitrust office said, ''the joint venture would continue to face several strong, effective competitors.''

Alcoa is based in Pittsburgh, Pa.


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