Ratos's subsidiary Arcus Gruppen has decided to distribute a total of approximately SEK 178m (approximately NOK 150m) to its shareholders of which Ratos's share amounts to approximately SEK 149m. The distribution was made possible by the sale of the property in Hasle outside Oslo in 2007 and the favourable development of the company.
Arcus Gruppen is Norway's leading wine and spirits supplier. The company was formed in 1996 on the initiative of the Norwegian government and privatised in 2001. The group's best-known brands include Braastad Cognac, Vikingfjord Vodka, Hammer Gin, Løiten and Linie Aquavit. The group has some 460 employees.
Arcus Gruppen sold its property in Hasle in central Oslo in June 2007 which generated a capital gain of SEK 750m. As a result of the sale, in December Arcus Gruppen carried out a redemption of shares corresponding to SEK 550m (NOK 474m), of which Ratos received SEK 467m.
Ratos CEO Arne Karlsson: "As a result of the property sale and the favourable development of the company, Arcus Gruppen has a balance sheet that is far too strong. This dividend marks the completion of the adjustment of the capital structure that started with the redemption of shares last year."
For Ratos, the distribution means that the consolidated book value for Arcus Gruppen will decrease by about SEK 149m to approximately SEK 619m, based on the book value at 31 December 2007.
For further information, please contract:
Arne Karlsson, CEO Ratos, +46 70 379 79 79
Clara Bolinder-Lundberg, Head of Corporate Communications Ratos, +46 707 19 84 43
Leif Johansson, Investment Director Ratos, +46 70 520 40 25