Atle acquires 28% of the Balco group

Atle acquires 28% of the Balco group * Atle is acquiring 28% of the high-growth balcony manufacturer Balco for a price of SEK 30 m. This transaction is being effected by purchasing shares from the present owners and a private placement. * Balco, which has registered yearly growth of 25% for the last five years, is assessed to enjoy a very sizeable expansion potential. The enterprise forecasts earnings of approximately SEK 17 m from yearly sales of some SEK 180 m. The corporation, founded in 1987, has developed a complete concept for balconies and glazing balconies, which includes unique solutions for fittings, airing, ventilation, drainage and extending balcony tiling. Balco project manages, manufactures and fits new balconies on site. Several of the solutions Balco has developed are patented and have registered designs. The enterprise's customers are property owners and tenant-owner associations that wish to enhance housing environments. Balco, with head offices and production in Växjö, southern Sweden, enjoys a dominant market position in Sweden, but also benefits from burgeoning foreign sales through subsidiaries, mainly in Norway and Germany. At present, 75% of Balco's production is exported. Lennart Eriksson, Atle Industri's Deputy Chief Executive, commented: "Atle's commitment signposts our concentration on sustained brisk growth. We perceive very substantial market potential for Balco, and look forward to active participation in its corporate development." In response, Lars Björkman, Balco's Group Chief Executive, said: "We're very pleased and proud to gain Atle as a partner in Balco AB. Balco is on the verge of robust expansion, and with Atle as a partner, the enterprise gains the expertise and strength that will allow us to respond to the accentuated demand for our products from a secure and confident position." Stockholm, Sweden 15 January 2001 Atle AB (publ) For more information, please contact: Lennart Eriksson, Deputy Chief Executive, Atle Industri, tel. +46 (0)8 506 10182 Lars Björkman, Chief Executive, the Balco group, tel +46 (0)470 748600 Atle- key facts Atle is a growth company that intends to be 2-3 times its current size in 5 years' time. Atle is a private equity player, investing in unlisted companies, participating actively in their development, and after a few years, finding them a suitable new home, thereby realising value growth. Since 1993, the Atle group's earnings have risen progressively, from SEK 373 m to SEK 1,025 m in 1999. Atle maintains a brisk transaction tempo, acquiring over 20 enterprises across all sectors each year. Since inception in 1992, Atle has invested in approximately 200 businesses and exited from over 100. Its annual return from these exits has been nearly 50%. Atle is quoted on the Stockholm Stock Exchange's A List and has approximately 17,000 shareholders ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by BIT http://www.bit.se The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2001/01/15/20010115BIT00180/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2001/01/15/20010115BIT00180/bit0002.pdf