Infodata, a company belonging to the Ratos subsidiary Bisnode, has signed an extension agreement with the SPAR Authority regarding management of the SPAR database (Statens Person- och Adressregister, a database containing names and addresses of every person listed in municipal registers in Sweden). The extension agreement will run for 18 months, starting on 1 January 2009. The SPAR agreement is expected to continue to have a positive effect on the Bisnode Group's earnings.
Bisnode is one of Europe's leading suppliers of digital business information with services within market, credit and product information. Ratos became a principal owner of Bisnode in 2005 when Ratos's associated company Infodata merged with Bonnier Business Information. Since then the company has strengthened its leading position in the European market through some 20 strategic acquisitions. The company has approximately 3,000 employees. Bisnode has enjoyed a highly positive profitability trend in recent years and sales in 2007 totalled SEK 3,899m with an operating profit (EBITA) of SEK 580m.
Since 1978, Bisnode's subsidiary Infodata has distributed and operated information from the SPAR database on behalf of the SPAR Authority. In spring 2007 the SPAR Authority announced that its agreement with Infodata would be terminated with effect from 1 January 2009. A public procurement process was initiated but this was halted in spring 2008 pending further consideration.
The Swedish government has now decided that the Swedish Tax Agency will take over responsibility for SPAR starting on 1 January 2009. This will involve developing a future model from the very beginning. In order to guarantee management and supply of services, an agreement has been signed with Infodata until a new operating model is in place that meets the requirements of the PSI Directive and which is legally secure and efficient.
"Infodata has been distributing SPAR information on behalf of the SPAR Authority for 30 years, and it is very positive that Infodata has now been entrusted to continue to distribute on behalf of the Swedish Tax Agency," says Bisnode's CEO Johan Wall.
Ratos's holding in Bisnode amounts to 70%.
For further information, please contact:
Bo Jungner, Investment Director Ratos, +46 8 700 17 85
Emma Rheborg, Investor Relations Manager Ratos, +46 8 700 17 20