Skandia increases its stake in Pohjola

Skandia increases its stake in Pohjola Skandia has today acquired MeritaNordbanken's entire shareholding in Pohjola Group Insurance Corporation. The acquired shares correspond to 23.6% of the voting rights and 12.7% of the capital in Pohjola. Following this acquisition, Skandia's share of voting rights and capital will amount to 32.5% and 23.6% respectively. Pohjola conducts successful business in property & casualty insurance, life insurance and savings products, as well as asset management in both the Finnish market and the Baltic region. In a comment, Lars-Eric Petersson, President and CEO of Skandia, says: "Pohjola and Skandia have built up a close and successful business co- operation over the years. Deeper strategic co-operation between the companies will provide better opportunities to develop a Nordic property & casualty insurance concept. This should be viewed against the background of the future restructuring of the European insurance industry, which is going to intensify." The Chairman of Pohjola´s board, Tauno Matomäki, comments as follows: "It is very positive that MeritaNordbanken´s shareholding will continue to be owned by a serious long-term owner." Pohjola´s President and CEO, Iiro Viinanen, comments: "Our excellent co- operation with Skandia is valuable for Pohjola´s and Skandia´s shareholders." The acquisition is subject to the usual regulatory approval. For further information, please contact: Lars-Eric Petersson, President and CEO, tel: +46 8 788 1286 Ulf Spång, Executive Vice President and CFO, tel: +46 8 788 2905 ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1999/01/07/19990107BIT00230/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1999/01/07/19990107BIT00230/bit0002.pdf

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