Sparebank 1 SMN: Selling 5.88 m shares in Polaris Media

SpareBank 1 SMN is to sell 5.88m shares of Polaris Media ASA at NOK 27.00 per share to NWT Media (Nya Wermlands-Tidningens AB), for a total of NOK 158.8m. Through this transaction SpareBank 1 SMN will reduce its stake in Polaris Media from 23.4 to 11.4 per cent. SpareBank 1 SMN acquired 18.4 per cent of the shares of Polaris Media in connection with the bankruptcy of Roll Severin Co in March 2011. - "Since then we have indicated our reluctance to hold such a large stake in Polaris Media in the long term, but that we are comfortable with an owner position of this size in the medium term. We are selling to NWT Media in agreement with the board of Polaris Media," says Group CEO Finn Haugan at SpareBank 1 SMN. NWT Media has since 1990 proven its credentials as a long-term media investor in Norway. The company has been an owner of Polaris Media since September 2011, and is now increasing its stake from 14.4 to 26.4 per cent. This makes NWT Media the second largest shareholder after Schibsted (29.0 per cent). - "We are very pleased that SpareBank 1 SMN is selling to NWT Media, which we have come to know as a professional, long-term media investor. Our collaboration with our Swedish friends is excellent. At the same time it is positive that SpareBank 1 SMN is to remain a substantial owner of Polaris Media. The bank contributes to a beneficial, diversified ownership of the Group," says Kaare M. Gisvold, board chair at Polaris Media. Contact persons at SpareBank 1 SMN: Group CEO Finn Haugan on (0047) 900 41 002 Head of Corporate Communications Hans Tronstad on (0047) 941 78 322 About SpareBank 1 SMN SpareBank 1 SMN is the region's leading financial services group. It leads the retail and corporate market, and is positioned in 43 localities across the region's municipalities with a total of 51 offices. We aim to be the recommended bank for customers in Trøndelag and in Møre and Romsdal. Being a local, independent savings bank we feel a special responsibility for stimulating growth and prosperity in the region. We base our business on closeness to our customers, good accessibility, a full product range and comprehensive financial advisory services. Our head office is in Trondheim. The Group employs about 1,200 staff and includes the following subsidiaries: SpareBank 1 SMN Finans, EiendomsMegler 1 Midt-Norge, Allegro Finans and SpareBank 1 SMN Regnskap. It is the largest shareholder in BN Bank with a 33% stake. SpareBank 1 SMN is one of six owners of SpareBank 1 Gruppen. For further information, visit our website at This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act) This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: SpareBank 1 SMN via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1673357]