Schibsted ASA sent out a statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange on 20th December 1999 concerning Telia ABs view regarding Schibsted ASAs exercising of options related to 10% of the shares in SOL AS and SOL AB.
Through discussions that have taken place between Telia AB, Telenor Nextel AS and Schibsted ASA in the period after 20th December 1999, it is now clear that an agreement between the parties relating to several of the conditions for the planned restructuring and listing of the SOL companies has not been reached.
Schibsted ASA will as a result commence the necessary legal proceedings in order to secure its rights.
Simultaneously and parallel with this Schibsted ASA will at once put in place efforts to ensure that the values in the SOL-companies are preserved and further developed. Telenor Nextel AS has informed Schibsted ASA that they will undertake a similar strategic evalutation.
Due to the broad common ownership in SOL and other internet -companies , Schibsted ASA and Telenor Nextel AS will enter into a dialogue concerning further collaboration. The collaboration will aim at restructuring one or more of these companies with a subsequent public listing. The parties anticipate a short timeframe for the conclusion of these discussions, and the listing of such an alternative company to take place within the previously announced timeframe second or third quarter year 2000.
If Telia informs the parties that they wish their ownership in SOL AB to be included in such a cooperation Schibsted ASA takes a positive view to this. Telenor Nextel AS has informed Schibsted ASA that they share this positive view.
In a comment to this turn of events, Sverre Munck , Schibsted Executive Vice President, Multimedia, says: It is unfortunate that Telia cannot accept the planned restructuring and listing of the SOL companies. Schibsted has since October 1998 worked towards this goal. Considering the dynamic nature of SOLs business, we cannot afford to wait further with required operational and strategic initiatives.
Schibsted will of course take the necessary legal steps to ensure that our contractual rights are fulfilled. However, rather than waiting for the outcome of these processes, we will at the same time, together with Telenor Nextel, rapidly evaluate alternatives to the proposed PanSOL structure. Between us, Telenor Nextel and Schibsted control a number of interesting internet operations in Norway, Sweden and Denmark that could be part of a larger, Nordic listed internet operation. These operations include both SOL in Norway and in Denmark, as well as the majority of the shares of SOL in Sweden. There are a number of alternatives that do not require Telias cooperation, although we are prepared to include and would welcome Telias shares in SOL Sweden into these alternatives if Telia should express an interest in this. It is Schibsteds ambition to maintain the Q2/Q3 time frame for listing the restructured internet activities.
There will be a press conference today at 4pm Oslo time at Schibsteds premises in Apotekergaten 10, Oslo.