This excerpt taken from the STO 20-F filed Mar 24, 2009.
The Board did not request the General Meeting in StatoilHydro for an authorisation to repurchase StatoilHydro shares in the market for subsequent cancellation in the period 2008-2009.
This was due to the Norwegian government's stated intention to increase its ownership interest in StatoilHydro from 62.5% to 67%. As of 5 March 2009, the Norwegian State owns a 66.89% interest in StatoilHydro and a 3.94% through Folketrygdfondet, total 70.83% interest in StatoilHydro. Now that the Government has reached its stated intended ownership share, the Board may ask the General Meeting for a new share repurchase authorisation.
In 2007, the annual general meeting of Statoil authorised the board of directors to acquire Statoil shares in the market for subsequent cancellation. This authorisation was valid until 20 May 2008. StatoilHydro did not make use of this authorisation in 2007 or 2008.
In accordance with the resolution of the extraordinary general meeting on 5 July 2007 and with the authorisation to repurchase shares granted by the annual general meeting on 10 May 2006, Statoil carried out a capital reduction in September 2007 through the redemption and cancellation of a total of 20,158,848 shares with a nominal value of NOK 2.50 per share, of which 14,291,848 shares were redeemed from the Norwegian State, represented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and canceled.