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Norsk Hydro to sell auto structures unit to Germany’s Benteler

Aluminum producer Norsk Hydro ASA is set to sell its automotive structures business to a German parts supplier, ridding the Norwegian company of the struggling division and positioning it to expand its other extruded activities.

Oslo-based Norsk Hydro's automotive structures business, a unit of its Extruded Products sector, will be sold to Benteler Automobiltechnik GmbH before year-end, the company said in a statement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement that Benteler will be purchasing the structures unit brings to an end a nearly three-year process for Hydro, which first tried to divest its automotive components operations in November 2006. Although its castings unit in Worcester, England, was sold in March 2007 as part of that effort, the company was unable to find a buyer for its structures business at that time.

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