Hydro's Corporate Assembly Gives Nod to Board
Hydro's Corporate Assembly has considered the Board of Directors' termination of the company's stock-option program and given the board a vote of confidence.
In a unanimous decision, the Corporate Assembly stated:
"Hydro's Board of Directors has given the Corporate Assembly a thorough presentation of the preparation, reasoning and content of the board's July 23 decision to terminate the stock-option program.
The Corporate Assembly takes note that the board, during tonight's meeting, states that it should have informed the Extraordinary General Assembly on July 5, 2007, about its plans to terminate the stock-option program with a one-time payment.
The Corporate Assembly is informed that various interpretations have been presented of the legal basis for the decision to terminate the company's stock-option program. The Corporate Assembly notes that the board's decision to terminate the stock-option program is based on the board's best business judgment.
The Corporate Assembly notes that Hydro President and Chief Executive Officer Eivind Reiten today, at his own initiative, has proposed to the board he would reduce the agreed payment related to the termination of stock options allocated in 2005 and 2006 by 50 percent. Other members of the Corporate Management Board have said that they are willing to relinquish 30 percent of the market value attached to stock options allocated in 2005 and 2006. The corporate assembly views this as an important contribution toward creating calm around the company, which will provide the Board of Directors and corporate management the necessary basis for further developing Hydro as one of Norway's most important companies.
The Corporate Assembly's employee-elected representatives state that the reduction in the stock-option payments should have been even greater and that the board could have contributed toward making this happen. However, they would like to help bring the issue to a close for the benefit of the company.
On this background, the Corporate Assembly unanimously expresses its confidence in the Board of the Directors."
"We are satisfied that the Corporate Assembly acknowledges that the board's decision to terminate the program was based on our best business judgment, and we are looking forward to continuing our work for Hydro," says acting board chairwoman Elisabeth Grieg. "We hope that we can now put this matter behind us, so that Hydro's leaders and employees can concentrate on establishing StatoilHydro and launching 'new' Hydro."
Svein Steen Thomassen, who heads the Corporate Assembly, states: "I am pleased that the board took the initiative to bring the issue before the Corporate Assembly for our consideration. We have been presented with a through presentation and have had an open exchange of views. A unanimous Corporate Assembly has expressed its confidence in the Board of Directors."
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