Norway's Hydro drops plan to buy Rio Tinto assets

Sept 14 (Reuters) – Norway's Hydro said on Friday it had dropped plans to buy several of Rio Tinto's assets, including an aluminium plant in Iceland, after approval from European Commission regulators took longer than anticipated.

In February, Hydro made an offer to buy the aluminium plant, as well as a 53 percent stake in a Dutch anode facility Aluchemie and 50 percent of the shares in a Swedish aluminium fluoride plant Alufluor for about $345 million.

"The European Commission competition approval process has taken longer than anticipated and remains outstanding," Hydro said in a statement.

"After considering alternative timelines, outcomes and developments, Hydro requested to terminate the transaction and the parties have signed a termination agreement," it said.

Hydro has withdrawn its EU competition filing, it added.Not interested in acquiring aluminium plants that use coal-fired power.

Hydro, which is not interested in acquiring aluminium plants that use coal-fired power, was hoping the deal would be part of efforts to make its output as green as possible and bolster its position in Europe.

Under the deal, Hydro would have been the sole owner of the Dutch factory, while the Swedish factory would have been 50/50 owned with fertiliser maker Yara International.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese; Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans)