ABB divests two cable businesses in Norway, Sweden

High-voltage cables, specialized cables for subsea oil and gas applications not included in the transaction

Zurich, Switzerland, November 16, 1999 – ABB, the global technology company, announced today it has agreed to sell two cable companies in Norway and Sweden to Draka Holding N.V, a leading cable manufacturer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The two companies, ABB Kabel in Nässjö and Ystad, Sweden and ABB Norsk Kabel in Drammen, Loesmoen and Årnes, Norway, have a combined annual turnover of approximately US$ 210 million and employ some 850 people. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals in the respective countries.

The two companies make cable products used in a variety of applications, including installations in office and commercial buildings, homes and factories, in electricity distribution systems, the oil and gas industry and in computer and telecommunications networks. Draka Holding is a leading cable manufacturer with about 8,000 employees and activities in more than 20 countries.

The transaction does not affect ABB’s high-voltage cable business, which develops and manufactures products primarily for long-distance power transmission projects. Also not included are subsea cables used for High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission and in the offshore oil and gas sector, as well as the specialized cables used in ABB’s new high-voltage Powerformer generator and Dryformer power transformer.

Göran Lindahl, ABB’s President and CEO, said the divestiture was in line with the company’s efforts to focus on businesses that have clear synergies with other parts of the company, and to build on its technology leadership. “Draka is a strong partner who will be able to grow this business even further,” Lindahl said. “We will concentrate on cable technologies that can be applied to core areas like power transmission and offshore oil and gas, and where we have a clear technology lead, as we do for example with the Powerformer.”

“These two companies have a leading position in the Nordic cable market and will be a solid base for consolidating our strong position in Europe, especially in the Nordic countries together with Draka’s Finnish and Danish operations” said Jan van Kesteren, Chairman of Draka’s Board of Management. “This acquisition fits our strategic goals as the companies have strong management and good growth potential.”

ABB <http://www.abb.com> is a globalized technology and engineering company serving customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; industrial products and contracting; and in financial services. Power generation customers are served by the joint venture ABB ALSTOM POWER. The ABB Group employs about 170,000 people in more than 100 countries. (End)

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    • John Fox
      ABB Corporate Communications, Zurich
      Tel: + 41 1 317 7371
      Fax: + 41 1 317 7958
    • Manfred Ebling
      ABB Investor Relations, Zurich
      Tel: + 41 1 317 7266
      Fax: + 41 1 311 9817
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