Storebrand announces a take-over bid for Finansbanken ASA

On acquiring Finansbanken ASA, Storebrand intends to develop the bank into Norway's leading private bank. The private banking market covers the upper end of the private customer market segment and selected corporate customers. The strong position that Finansbanken already enjoys in these markets segments will be consolidated and further developed. As a result of its position in asset management and long-term savings, Storebrand is extremely well positioned to contribute to a further strengthening of Finansbanken's position in the private banking market.

Finansbanken will have an independent role as a free-standing bank within the Storebrand Group. The bank will not, therefore, be integrated with Storebrand Bank. Storebrand Bank will continue to be part of the Group's product range offering mutual funds, banking services and insurance to the broader private customer market, while Finansbanken will operate as an independent bank in its defined market areas. As a result, Storebrand will be seeking to maintain two banking licences.

After the take-over, Finansbanken will keep its name and location, and its development will continue to be based on its strategy and strong niche position. The take-over will not result in any redundancies in Finansbanken, rather it will generate a need for a further strengthening of staff as a result of the wish to expand the bank's operations. Storebrand wants to invest heavily in further developing the level of competence at Finansbanken in order to meet the challenges that will be presented by the increased focus and concentration on the savings markets. This will strengthen Storebrand's position in the integrated market for mutual funds, banking services, and life insurance.

Storebrand's bid will be presented on the condition that it is accepted by at least 90%, a licence is issued on acceptable terms, due diligence, and a resolution is passed by the General Meeting to increase Storebrand's share capital by up to 10% new shares. The future schedule envisages the Extraordinary General Meeting in Storebrand being held at the end of January, after due diligence has been carried out. The offer will then be valid for 14 days.

Oslo, 6 January 1999

For further information, please contact: <br>Jack Frostad, Director of Public Relations, telephone + 47 22 31 57 57, mobile 928 25 255 <br>Christian Storm, Treasurer, telephone + 47 22 31 10 85, mobile 934 03 266 <br>