Shares in Yara International tumbled 8%, missing out on a rise in most fertilizer stocks, after prosecutors investigating corruption allegations charged two members of the nutrient giant’s senior management team.
Oekokrim, Norway’s white collar crime unit, has charged both Tor Holba, the head of Yara’s so-called “upstream” manufacturing operations, and Hallgeir Storvik, the group’s chief financial officer and head of strategy.
Both are members of Yara’s nine-strong senior management team, headed by Joergen Ole Haslestad, group’ chief executive, and long-term employees of the company and Hydro, from which it was demerged in 2004.
Indeed, Storvik is seen as responsible for spearheading the turnaround from 1999 of Hydro’s fertilizer division, Agri, involving the closure and sales of businesses and reduction of 35% in fixed costs, which paved the way for the creation of Yara, the world’s top nitrogen fertilizer group.
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