ABB sale 'won't threaten more jobs'

Industrial giant ABB has agreed to sell parts of its oil and gas division, including its ABB Offshore Systems in Norway.

Industrial giant ABB has agreed to sell parts of its oil and gas division, including its ABB Offshore Systems in Norway. No local jobs are on the line, however, and ABB's Norwegian staff calls the deal "very positive."

ABB said Tuesday it will sell off some oil and gas operations to an investment group made up of JP Morgan Partners, Candover Partners Ltd and 3i Group. The deal is valued at as much as USD 975 million (NOK 6.8 billion).

ABB Offshore Systems has 3,500 employees in Norway, but no new job cuts are seen as being tied to the sale.

"For us, this is very positive," said Elsbeth Tronstad of ABB in Norway. "Our business is set to remain intact as it is."

She noted that workforce "adjustments" are always being made, in line with market conditions, but no job cuts are demanded because of the sale.

ABB Offshore Systems' chief executive, R Rasmus Sunde, noted that ABB made it clear a year ago that it would pull out of the oil and gas business. He claimed the sale now may give ABB Offshore Systems "financially strong owners who want to be involved in the oil and gas market."


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