Storebrand's Board unanimously recommends Sampo's offer
Strategically, the proposed solution with Sampo is strong. It builds on the Storebrand organisation's competence and the company's growth strategy in the long term savings market. The overall solution is viewed to be positive for employees, customers and shareholders alike.
In considering the offer the Board has emphasized the following elements:
· Sampo's offer values Storebrand 31 per cent above the average share price for the last month before the offer was presented. The Board believes that this is financially attractive to Storebrand's shareholders.
· Joining forces with Sampo will efficiently leverage Storebrand's broad and solid competence in long-term savings and asset management. This is in line with Storebrand's strategy of being a focused player in the savings market, with emphasis on financially attractive customer segments. A solution with Sampo will further develop If, which with its about 3.7 million customers and 8,000 employees clearly will be the leading Nordic property and casualty insurance company.
· The solution contributes to strengthen Storebrand's market position in Norway, due to improved cost efficiency, a broader product range, and improved quality of products and services. This will benefit Storebrand customers and contribute to strengthen the competition in the Norwegian market.
· The joining of forces gives Storebrand's organisation in Norway a strong growth platform and will provide employees with good career opportunities. Locating the operational head office for asset management and Norwegian and international life insurance to Norway will also contribute to this. The employee-elected members of the Board recommend the solution, and emphasise the development opportunities this represents for Storebrand employees.
· The proposed solution gives good Norwegian representation in the new group's senior management and governing bodies. The Board believes that future co-operation between the companies will be strengthened by Storebrand shareholders being able to continue to hold an interest in Sampo/Storebrand.
· A comprehensive process between DnB and Storebrand, prior to the announcement of Sampo's bid, did in the opinion of the Board not create the basis for entering into merger negotiations with DnB. In the opinion of the Board, nothing has arisen after the publication of Sampo's offer on 21 May that changes this evaluation.
Two members of the Board opted in the Board meeting 21 May to abstain from voting on the proposed solution with Sampo. According to these members, a more solid Norwegian entity, as a foundation for creating a leading player in the future Nordic financial arena, would under similar conditions, have been preferable. These Board members had hoped that their stance in the Board meeting 21 May would contribute to clarify if this was achievable.
The financial preconditions in the existing indication from DnB, does not constitute a foundation for a recommendation to further pursue this alternative. In light of this, the two Board members join the other members of the Board in recommending the Sampo alternative.
The following Board members have shares in Storebrand:
Leiv L. Nergaard, 4000
Halvor Stenstadvold, 93
Brit K. S. Rugland, 0
Knut G. Heje, 0
Rune Bjerke, 0
Harald Tyrdal, 100
Rune Eikeland, 685
Arild Thoresen, 150
Nina Es. Seiersten, 115
Furthermore Idar Kreutzer, Storebrand's President and Chief Executive Officer has 600 shares.
All of them will accept Sampo's offer prior to the expiry of the offer period.
Oslo, 3 July 2001
The Board of Directors of Storebrand ASA
Enquiries: <br>Leiv L. Nergaard, Chairman of the Board of Directors <br>Tel.: 22 53 81 00 <br> <br>Egil Thompson, Director Corporate Communications <br>Tel.: 22 48 95 86 Mobile: 93 48 00 12