Yara International

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Yara International ASA
Traded as OSE: YAR
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1905
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Key people
Torgeir Kvidal (acting President and CEO), Leif Teksum (Chairman)
Products Nitrogen fertilizers, nitrates
Revenue NOK 95,343 billion (2014)[1]
NOK 10.305 billion (2014)[1]
Profit NOK 7.625 billion (2014)[1]
Total assets NOK 88.980 million (end 2013)[1]
Total equity NOK 67.962 billion (end 2014)[1]
Number of employees
12,073 (end 2014)[1]
Website www.yara.com

Yara International ASA is a Norwegian chemical company. Its largest business area is the production of nitrogen fertilizer,[2][3] however it also encompasses the production of dry ice, nitrates, ammonia, urea and other nitrogen-based chemicals.

The company was established as Norsk Hydro – the world’s first producer of mineral nitrogen fertilizers – in 1905 and demerged as Yara International ASA on March 25, 2004. Yara is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has its headquarters in Oslo. The company has more than 12,000 employees, production sites on six continents, operations in more than 50 countries and sales to about 150 countries.[4]

The company has 3 areas of main activity:[1] 1 - Industrial Products: produce a wide range of nitrogen and specialty chemicals in addition to CO2, dry ice, and civil explosive solutions. 2 - Environmental Solutions: solutions for NOx abatement, odor control, water treatment and corrosion prevention. 3 - Agricultural Products: complete portfolio of fertilizer covering all necessary nutrients for any crop.

Structurally, there are 3 business platforms and operating segments (Upstream, Downstream, and Industrial), coordinated through the Supply and Trade platform to ensure synergies:[1] - Upstream: the production of nitrogen-based products for fertilizer and industrial uses. - Downstream: the sales, marketing, and distribution activities around the globe. - Industrial: development and processing of environmental solutions and industrial activities. - Supply and Trade: optimization of energy, raw materials, sourcing, logistics, and shipping.



The history of Yara dates back to the founding of modern Norwegian industry. The beginnings of modern Yara are found in the establishment of Norsk hydroelektiske kvelstoffaktieselskab, or Norsk Hydro, as it later became known as. Norsk Hydro was founded in December 1905 after nitrogen fertilizer was successfully produced at Notodden.[5]

Eyde, Birkeland, Wallenberg[edit]

Norsk Hydro was founded by the triumvirate of Sam Eyde, who ”brought the vision”, Kristian Birkeland, who ”brought the science”, and Marcus Wallenberg, who ”brought the capital.” [6] The weighting of the contributions of these three men has been subject to many discussions. Whatever the exact weighting, it is no doubt that they all were essential to the establishment of Norsk Hydro.[7] Norsk Hydro used Norway’s large hydroelectric-energy resources to produce its first product. The company pioneered direct nitrogen fixation, called the Birkeland-Eyde Process.[citation needed] This contribution to the fertilizer market attracted global attention as the product enabled farmers to boost their yields.


Hydrolectric power was as mentioned essential in order to produce the nitrogen fertilizer. As a consequence, two major power plants were built – one at Notodden, and one in Rjukan.[8] The company adopted an international perspective early, sending its first shipment to China in 1913.


Norsk Hydro was founded on advanced research. This work was driven by a need to diversify and develop new industries. Even though the production of mineral fertilizer was successful, the company expanded into other businesses, from fertilizers to oil and metals. In 1969, Norsk Hydro entered its first joint venture, with authorities in Qatar. With access to a competitive source of gas and a strategic location in the Middle East, the joint venture opened up a global market for the company.



Norsk Hydro was in the 1970s shaped under the leadership of Johan Holte who was CEO from 1967 to 1977.[9]

By the 1970s, the company was established in Asia, the Middle East and North America. The late 1970s to the mid-1980s was a period of rapid growth, through the acquisition of major fertilizer companies in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. At the end of the 1990s, the company was also established in Brazil and South Africa.


In 2004, Hydro Agri demerged from Norsk Hydro and became an independent company called Yara International ASA. The company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange on March 25, 2004; and is a leading producer of ammonia, nitrates, nitrogen products, and NPK specialty fertilizers.[10]

Since then, Yara has continued to expand its global presence through investments in other countries, with many acquisitions, joint ventures, and new projects primarily in the African, and North and South American continents.


"As part of the company’s centennial celebration in 2005 – and in response to the call for an African Green Revolution – Yara launched its prize to recognize outstanding contributions to African agriculture. In 2014, the Yara Prize will have a special focus on rural youth and the future of farming in Africa paying particular attention to food and nutrition security and the twin challenges of employment and income generation." [11]


In 2008, Thorleif Enger retired, and Jørgen Ole Haslestad became CEO. On his appointment, Haslestad stated: "Yara must continue its growth strategy. The company has many exciting opportunities to pursue, for instance when it comes to the environment, where we contribute to better balance in agricultural development and deliver some interesting industrial solutions to environmental problems." [12]


Yara International announced in September 2014 that it was in talks with CF Industries about a possible merger of equals, a deal worth over $27 billion.[13]

In January 2014, the corporation agreed to pay a $48 million fine, in 2004-2009 corruption case—admitting to bribes paid to senior government officials in India and Libya as well as to suppliers in Russia and India.[14] The fine was the largest ever of its kind in Norway.[15] The case puts two cohorts of Yara-executives up against each other.[16]

On 10 January 2014 Norway's Cabinet approved the indictment of Daniel Clauw|a former CEO of the corporation, in connection with Norway's investigation of the corporation.[17] It is a former CEO, alongside three others in the Yara-leadership who have been indicted in the case.[18]

Norwegian authorities were informed by the company in 2011, that the company might have been involved in corruption in advance of negotiations in 2008 (that led to an investment of 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner in a 50 percent share of Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Company,[19] or LIFECO, in 2009).[20]

Acquisitions, joint ventures and expansions[edit]

  • Thirty percent of the Russian fertilizer producer OAO Minudobreniya ("Rossosh"), was bought in February 2005.[21]
  • In April 2006, an ammonia plant at Burrup, Australia, opened. Yara presently holds a 35 percent stake and is involved in litigation with the other share-holder, Pankaj Oswal.
  • In July 2006, Yara bought a controlling interest in the Brazilian fertilizer distribution and marketing company Fertibras.[22]
  • In September 2006, Yara bought 50 percent of the Geneva-based trading company Balderton Fertilisers SA.
  • In May 2007, Yara bought 30.05 percent of Finnish fertilizer company Kemira GrowHow and successfully tendered an offer to buy the rest.[23]
  • In August 2007, Yara entered a joint venture collaboration with Wilhelmsen Maritime Services owning 50 percent of the Norwgian registered company Yarwil, which provides systems for reduction of NOx emissions from ship engines.[24]
  • In July 2008, Yara entered into an agreement to acquire Canadian nitrogen producer SaskFerco, completing the deal in October 2008. After this, the fertilizer plant located in Belle Plaine commenced to operate as Yara Belle Plaine Inc.[25]
  • Fifty percent of a fertiliser factory in Brega, is owned by Yara as a result of buying a 50 percent stake in Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Company (LIFECO).[26] (Co-owners of LIFECO, are National Oil Corporation of Libya (NOC) and Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) — each with 25 percent shares.[26]
  • In September 2009, Yara began construction of new Urea7 factory at Sluiskil, Netherlands.
  • In October 2009, Qafco, in which Yara has 25 percent equity interest, signed a letter of intent for construction of Qafco-6 expansion project. The project includes the construction of a urea plant with a total daily production capacity of 3,850 tons.[27]
  • In January 2010, Yara acquired the remaining 50 percent of Balderton Fertilisers.[28]
  • In December 2012, Yara acquired Bunge Limited´s fertilizer blending facilities, brands, and warehouses in Brazil. Brazilian antitrust authorities (CADE) approved the acquisition in May 2013, and Yara and Bunge completed the transaction in August 2013.[29]
  • In October 2013, Yara acquired the remaining 50 percent of Yarwil, previously owned by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services through a joint venture collaboration with Yara.[30]
  • In November 2013, Yara acquired OFD Holding from Omimex Resources Inc. for fertilizer production facilities in Colombia and distribution companies in Colombia,Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Bolivia. This transaction further strengthens Yara's downstream footprint and growth platform in Latin America and is highly complementary to its recent acquisition of Bunge's fertilizer business in Brazil.[31]

Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Company B.V.,[32] registered in the Netherlands, is co-owned by "Libyan partners ... with close ties to Muammar Gaddafi and his clan" (and Yara) according to Dagens Næringsliv.[33] Authorities have frozen the joint venture's bank accounts, in the Netherlands.[34]


  • Leif Teksum (2014-incumbent). Replaced Bernt Reitan after the Annual General Meeting on May 5, 2014.[35] Teksum oversaw DNB´s Swedish and Norwegian portfolio, and headed DNB´s Norwegian business market and international operations before becoming Yara´s Chairman.[36])
  • Bernt Reitan ( 2012-2014) in April 2014 he announced that he will not seek another term from May 2014[37])[38] (In September 2012 the election committee of Yara informed that they were unaware of Reitan's former employer ALCOA being investigated for corruption by the United States[39]).[36])
  • Øivind Lund (2004-2012)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Yara International. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mergers in the fertiliser industry". The Economist. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Stigset, Marianne (15 July 2008). "Yara Quarterly Profit Gains Threefold; Buys Plant". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Company overview". 
  5. ^ http://www.yara.com/about/history/1900-1905/index.aspx
  6. ^ http://www.yara.com/about/history/our_history_at_a_glance/index.aspx
  7. ^ http://www.yara.com/about/history/1900-1905/three_remarkable_men.aspx
  8. ^ http://www.yara.com/about/history/1906-1919/index.aspx
  9. ^ http://www.yara.com/about/history/1960-1969/johan_b_holte.aspx
  10. ^ "Yara at a Glance(press release)". Yara Media Relations. March 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.yara.com/sustainability/how_we_engage/africa_engagement/yara_prize/index.aspx?WT.mc_id=yara_prize_2012
  12. ^ http://www.yara.com/about/history/2008-2009/yara_appoints_new_ceo.aspx
  13. ^ Yara, CF in talks to create $27 billion fertilizer giant. Reuters, 23 September 2014
  14. ^ "Norway's Yara fined $48 mln after cross-border bribery probe". Reuters. January 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ Avslører en ukultur
  16. ^ "Yara corruption trial set for early next year". News in English.no. April 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Line Dugstad (2014-01-18). "Tiltale ble godkjent i statsråd". Dagens Næringsliv. p. 10. 
  18. ^ Line Dugstad; Morten Ånestad (2014-01-18). "Direktører peker på hverandre". Dagens Næringsliv. pp. 8–9. 
  19. ^ "Yara completes $225 mln Libya fertiliser deal". Reuters. February 9, 2009. 
  20. ^ Dagens Næringsliv, 2011-04-16, p.4
  21. ^ "Yara acquires the minority stake in Russian fertiliser plant". Gasworld.com. February 10, 2005. 
  22. ^ "Timeline: Fertilizer maker Yara's ambitious expansion". Reuters. February 16, 2010. 
  23. ^ "2007:Yara announces Kemira GrowHow takeover". Yara's website. 2007. 
  24. ^ Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (August 22, 2007). "Press release - Yara and Wilhelmsen enter innovative environmental collaboration". wilhelmsen.com. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  25. ^ "Sale of Saskferco is finalized (press release)". Government of Saskatchewan. October 1, 2008. 
  26. ^ a b "Yara completes $225 mln Libya fertiliser deal". Reuters. February 9, 2009. 
  27. ^ "Yara JV Qafco signs letter of intent for expansion". Yara.com. 
  28. ^ "Yara acquires remaining 50% of Balderton Fertiliser (press release)". Cisionwire. January 28, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Yara to Buy Bunge Brazil Fertilizer Assets for $750 Million (press release)". Bloomberg. December 7, 2012. 
  30. ^ Yara International (October 21, 2013). "Yara and Wilhelmsen strengthen collaboration in maritime emissions reduction market". yara.com. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  31. ^ "New Yara acquisition in Latin America(press release)". Yara Media Relations. November 26, 2013. 
  32. ^ http://nos.nl/artikel/229513-nederland-bevriest-libische-tegoeden.html
  33. ^ Dagens Næringsliv, DN Magasinet, 2011-04-16, p.53: "Det har opprettet et selskap i Nederland sammen med libyske partnere som skulle vise seg å ha tette forbindelser til Muammar Gadaffi og hans klan."
  34. ^ Dagens Næringsliv, DN Magasinet, 2011-04-16, p.53
  35. ^ Yara International (May 6, 2014). "Yara approves dividend and share buy-back program and elects new chairperson". yara.com. 
  36. ^ a b - Reitan stands down as Yara chairman
  37. ^ Reitan: - Ønsker mer tid med familien [Reitan: - Wishing more time with the family]
  38. ^ Johnsrud, Ingar (2 June 2012). "Slik skjules lønnshoppene" [Hidden Salaries] (in Norwegian). E24. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  39. ^ - Nei, valgkomiteen kjente ikke til saken

External links[edit]

Media related to Yara at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 59°54′52.70″N 10°42′54.15″E / 59.9146389°N 10.7150417°E / 59.9146389; 10.7150417