DNB wants to buy Sbanken

Kjerstin R. Braathen - DNBPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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DNB wants to buy all the shares in Sbanken for NOK 11.1 billion. The purchase is subject to approval from the Norwegian Competition Authority and the Ministry of Finance.

The offer price of NOK 103.85 per share is 29.8% above the closing price on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Wednesday of NOK 80 per share, Sbanken stated in a press release.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the Norwegian Competition Authority and the Ministry of Finance, and is expected to be clarified in the third quarter of 2021. Until then, there are no changes for the two companies’ operations, customers, or employees.

“We have great respect for the formal process we are going into, but believe and hope it goes well. First, the acceptance period needs to be implemented,” DNB’s Communications Director Thomas Midteide told DN.

Analyst Geir Kristiansen of Nordic Credit Rating calls the acquisition surprising.

“DNB is large in the Norwegian market, and it is not a given that DNB will be allowed to buy Sbanken,” he said to E24. DNB is partly state-owned. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is the largest shareholder with an ownership share of 34%, while Folketrygdfondet (Government Pension Fund) owns 6% of the company.

Attractive valuation

“The board believes the offer reflects the financial and strategic value of Sbanken and entails an attractive valuation for shareholders,” Sbanken’s Chairman of the Board, Niklas Midby, said.

“We believe that Sbanken and DNB together are even better positioned to compete with the large, international technology companies,” he continued.

Sbanken was established in 2000 as the first purely digital bank in Norway and was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2015. The company became an independent Norwegian bank in the autumn of 2015 but was until then a subsidiary of the Swedish Skandiabanken.

Achieving more – together

“Now we have an opportunity to gather two of Norway’s rawest competence clusters on digital customer experiences into a large innovative environment across our offices in Bergen and Oslo,” Kjerstin Braathen, CEO of DNB, said.

“We can achieve much more together than separately, and we can create Norway’s best customer experiences – regardless of industry,” said Braathen. The company estimates that the acquisition will lead to DNB’s market share in mortgages rising from 24% to 27% with the acquisition.

Prerequisites

DNB’s offer begins an acceptance period until May, where shareholders will clarify whether they want to sell their shares to DNB.

Owners with a total of 90% of the shares must give their approval. Shareholders with a total of 29% ownership have, under certain conditions, accepted the offer.

This includes Sbanken’s largest owner, the acquisition fund Altor, which owns 25% of the shares. DNB already owns 1% of the company.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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