Schibsted Media Group has been informed by Nya Wermlands-Tidningens Aktiebolag (NWT) that they will continue as a long term strategic shareholder in Polaris Media ASA. Neither NWT nor Helsingborgs Dagblad AB will exercise their option to sell back shares in Polaris Media to Schibsted. NWT acquires Helsingborgs Dagblad AB’s shares in Polaris, and will hold totally 14.4 per cent of the shares. Polaris is a Norwegian regional media house which also owns 10 per cent of the shares in the leading Norwegian online classifieds site Finn.no.
Norrköpings Tidningars Media AB (NTM) has notified Schibsted that they will exercise their right to sell their 7,050,000 shares, equalling 14.4% of Polaris Media, back to Schibsted at a price of NOK 24.89 per share, which is the strike price adjusted for dividends paid during the last 12 months. After the transaction, Schibsted will own 14,172,952 shares in Polaris Media, equalling 29.0 per cent of the company.
– Polaris Media is a vital and important part of the Norwegian media landscape, and Schibsted has the intention to continue as a committed shareholder in the company. We are satisfied that NWT will remain supportive shareholders in Polaris Media. At the same time, we are disappointed that Norrköpings Tidningars Media AB (NTM) has decided to sell back their shares. This illustrates that it is challenging to find strong and long term media owners during the digital transformation phase the industry goes through right now, CFO of Schibsted Media Group Trond Berger says.
NWT is a Swedish newspaper group based in Karlstad. The group publishes, among other titles, Nya Wermlands-Tidningen. It had its first issue in 1836.
– Nya Wermlands-Tidningens Aktiebolag has had a long term view on our engagement in Polaris Media from day one. As shareholders we believe we can contribute to a continued positive development of the company, Lars Ander, CEO of NWT Group says.
Schibsted Media Group sold 36.3 per cent of the shares in Polaris Media ASA, a Norwegian regional media house, on 29 September 2011. The buyers were three strategic media owners and an international financial investor.
The uncertain situation in the financial markets, as well as the voting restrictions in Polaris Media, made it difficult to find buyers at a satisfying price through a conventional sale. Therefore, the buyers received a right, but not an obligation, to sell the shares back to Schibsted at a price between NOK 26 and 27, adjusted for dividends in September/October 2012.
On 28 September 2012 Schibsted disclosed that the financial investor Franklin Enterprises will sell their 3,651,236 shares, equalling 7.5% of Polaris Media, back to Schibsted. Schibsted has now been notified that Norrköpings Tidningars Media AB (NTM) will exercise their right to sell their 7,050,000 shares, equalling 14.4% of Polaris Media, back to Schibsted at a price of NOK 24.89 per share.
Trond Berger, CFO Schibsted Media Group, Mobile: +47 916 86 695.
Lars Ander, CEO of NWT Group. Mobile: +46 703 97 54 20
Oslo, 24 October 2012
Jo Christian Steigedal
VP Investor Relations
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.