Ratos' Board proposes acquisition of own shares


The Board of Directors of Ratos has today decided to request that the Annual General Meetings authorise it to acquire up to 10 per cent of the Company's shares via the market. It should be possible to acquire A shares and/or B shares.
The authorisation, which covers the acquisition but not the sale of its own shares, is proposed to apply until the Next Annual General Meeting.

For more than a year, Ratos' operations have been oriented towards private equity.

The Company's assets will thus gradually be invested in a limited number of preferably unlisted companies. By this means it is Ratos' intention to increase the yield and create a high growth in value. During 1999 Ratos´NAV has increased from SEK 7bn to more than SEK 9bn.

Capital structure improved
Ratos' need for capital to implement the new strategy is currently considered to be satisfied. With the objective of improving the Company's capital structure and thus increase the value for the shareholders, the Board of Directors is now asking for authori-sation to acquire the Company's own shares. The Board does not intend to resell acquired shares via the market.

Acquisition on 9 May at the earliest
According to new legislation, which comes into force on 10 March this year, Swedish listed companies will be able to acquire up to 10 per cent of outstanding shares in their own company. Companies are expected to be prevented from carrying out acquisition of their own shares during 30 days prior to reporting dates. On Ratos' part, acquisition could therefore be possible at the earliest as from 9 May when Ratos' Interim Report for the year 2000 has been published.

"By getting a mandate to buy-back shares we are given an opportunity to carry out what would be a profitable investment at the present time," says Arne Karlsson, President of Ratos in a comment on the Board's decision. "As we currently have the capital that is required for our strategy to establish a leading position for Ratos on the Swedish private equity market we will obviously take advantage of such an opportunity."

Ratos' Annual General Meeting will be held at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm on 13 April 2000 at 5.30pm.