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Monday, January 10, 2011

Orkla in talks to sell Elkem ops to China's BlueStar, (ORK), (NYSE: BX)

Norwegian conglomerate Orkla (ORK.OL) said it is in talks to finally offload the silicon assets of its Elkem unit to China National BlueStar in a move analysts say is helped by a strong silicon market. Norway's pizza-to-metals conglomerate Orkla has said that it aims to streamline its portfolio and the sale of Elkem had been widely expected before Monday's report by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringlsiv that BlueStar was on track to buy Elkem. BlueStar, a state-run specialty chemicals company backed by U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N), would gain Elkem's smelting technology and silicon output.