(Oslo, 1 February 2006) Block Watne Gruppen ASA has applied to the board of the Oslo Stock Exchange for a share listing in order to enhance its financial strength and flexibility.
Ranked as one of Norway's leading housebuilders, Block Watne embraces the purchase and development of sites as well as the construction and sale of dwellings to private buyers.
The group has built over 80 000 homes in all, and annually completes more than 1 000 new houses. Over 350 of its 560 employees are skilled carpenters working in specialised teams. Each house is built from scratch using well-proven and cost-effective methods developed over many years.
Block Watne has 21 offices around Norway, with the emphasis on attractive housing developments outside the most densely-populated areas. Its 2004 turnover was just over NOK 1.2 billion.
The group secured a stock exchange listing for the first time in 1972, but taken private in 1990 after a period of weak results which led to a turnaround operation in the late 1990s. During recent years, Block Watne has reported continuous good and stable growth combined with increasing profitability.
"The steady growth in turnover and gradual improvement in results give us a good basis for further development of the group," says chief executive Lars Nilsen. "We now want to secure the financial strength and flexibility which follow from a stock market listing."
Today's owner is considering a reduction in his holding to 40-50 per cent in order to ensure good liquidity for the share. An initial public offering is also planned to strengthen the balance sheet. Depending on progress, the earliest date for a Block Watne listing is the middle of March. Apart from approval by the OSE board, a listing would depend on satisfactory market conditions as well as other factors.
The application to the OSE means in part that the group has acquired a duty to inform. Its results for 2005 will accordingly be reported by a stock exchange announcement in mid-late February. Further details about the progress of the listing will also be provided through stock exchange announcements published on the group's web site at www.blockwatne.no.
SEB Enskilda has been selected as the coordinator for an IPO.
Further information from:
Lars Nilsen, president and CEO,
Block Watne Gruppen ASA,
tel: +47 23 24 60 00
tel: +47 95 22 19 18
BWG Homes develops, sells and constructs residential homes in the Nordic region. The brands owned by the Group are Block Watne and Hetlandhus in Norway, Kärnhem, Myresjöhus and SmålandsVillan in Sweden. Ranked as a leading residential house builder in its markets, the Group annually completes approx. 2 000 new homes through own residential projects and for individual customers. BWG Homes has approx. 1 000 employees. In 2013 the operational turnover was NOK 3.9 billion. BWG Homes is a company in the OBOS Group.