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Wednesday, October 2, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Seattle Firms Merge Into Norway's Aker

Seattle Times Business Reporter

An owner of several Seattle-area businesses has executed a merger agreement with a large Norwegian company.

Resource Group International, based in the Netherlands Antilles, ended its monthslong stalking of Norway's Aker by announcing the two had merged into a company that will have sales of about $3 billion and a Norwegian stock-market value pushing $1.5 billion. The stock swap was valued at $600 million.

Since the spring, RGI, about half the size of Aker, has owned about 40 percent of Aker's stock. But as recently as Monday, the companies said a merger would not happen.

Through Seattle-based American Seafoods, RGI is one of the nation's largest fishing companies. RGI also owns Brooks Sports, a Redmond-based maker of athletic shoes, and Helly-Hansen, a Redmond maker of outerwear.

RGI also has major interests in real estate and other businesses.

RGI Chief Executive Kjell Inge Rokke will own a third of the new company.

RGI's merger partner owns Scandinavia's most prominent cement and oil-and-gas companies.

Bjorn Rune Gjelsten, Rokke's partner who had become chairman of Aker after RGI's earlier stock purchases, will continue to run the

company.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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