The Aker controversy: Røkke breaks the silence

Entrepreneur and industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke is Aker ASA’s main owner. He has been a driving force in the development of Aker since the 1990s. Photo: NRK.

Entrepreneur and industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke is Aker ASA’s main owner. He has been a driving force in the development of Aker since the 1990s. Photo: NRK.

After three weeks of silence, investor Kjell Inge Røkke at a press conference on Wednesday April 22 broke the silence to give his version of the recent controversial transactions between Aker ASA and Aker Solutions.

An obviously angry and at times moved Røkke first criticized the media and the many journalists present.

“It is easier to teach kangaroos ambling than to convince you,” Røkke said to the press. He admitted that the going had been tough the past weeks: “This is bordering on what I can take, both physically and mentally”. He then went on to defend the transactions in which Aker Solutions AS acquired several shareholdings from companies in the Aker ASA group as well as from DOF Oilfield Service AS.

Røkke attacked both the state and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Sylvia Brustad, for the way they had handled the issue, when they demanded that the agreement be re-negotiated. The Minister has demanded that the deal should be re-negotiated at an extraordinary general meeting of the Aker Solution ASA. This was rejected by Røkke. “The transactions have been made, and are binding,” he said.

However, he did not rule out the possibility of an adjustment of the conditions of the deal, after an independent international agency which has been called in, has conducted a new review of the transactions which took place on April 1, 2009.

Brustad said to NRK after the press conference that she regretted her choice of word when she had criticized Røkke two weeks ago. She believes Røkke is open for finding solutions in the controversial transactions.

Source: Norway Post.

To view video from Press conference (in Norwegian) on www.myaker.net click here

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