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2001-07-6

FSN Capital acquires Kongsberg Automotive from Industri Kapital

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FSN Capital is acquiring Industri Kapital’s 77 per cent interest in Kongsberg Automotive. BancBoston Capital is retaining its 15 per cent interest, and will accordingly participate in the continued development of the company. The acquisition gives FSN Capital full control of the Norway-based company.

Kongsberg Automotive has a leading position in the global market as a manufacture of niche products for the automotive industry. Both management and employees view the change in ownership positively.

“We’re very satisfied with this ownership solution,” says chief executive Olav Volldal. “With FSN Capital as the dominant owner, we can maintain our existing strategy.”

“We have restructured the company into three strategic business areas, and focused stronger on the return on capital”, says Kim Wahl Deputy CEO of Industri Kapital. Production has also been restructured and the marketing organisation strengthened. This has had a positive effect on both results and new orders”.

Frode Strand Nielsen, president of FSN Capital, has been chairman of Kongsberg Automotive since May 1999, after becoming a director in 1996. As chairman, Mr Strand Nielsen has played a key role in restructuring the company

“Kongsberg Automotive is in good operational condition, with a clear strategy and an able management,” says Mr Strand Nielsen. “We are accordingly making a heavy commitment to its further development.”

The operating profit of NOK 70 million in 2000 was the best in the company’s history. It has become a global player in recent years, with a presence in a number of important automotive manufacturing countries. The three product areas — gearshift systems, seat comfort and truck systems — had sales totalling NOK 1.4 billion last year. The leading market position reflects a dedicated commitment to research and development for more than 15 years. The company has production facilities in Norway, Sweden, the UK, Poland, Mexico, Brazil and Korea.

“I take a very positive view of the change in ownership,” says employee representative Kjell Gregersen in Kongsberg Automotive. “Mr Strand Nielsen has worked in close contact with the company over a decade. I’m convinced FSN Capital will continue to develop Kongsberg Automotive to the best advantage of both employees and owners.”

Kongsberg Automotive ASA manufactures components, modules, and systems for the world-wide automotive industry. Leading customers include Cadillac, Citröen, DAF, Jaguar, MAN, Mercedes, Opel, Peugot, Porsche, Renault, Saab, Scania, Toyota, and Volvo.

The company is organised in three in three business areas:

* Gearshift systems: focused on passenger cars with automatic transmissions

* Seat comfort: primarily embraces heated seats and head rests

* Truck systems: main emphasis on clutch actuation, gearshift systems and stabilising rods, as well as a number of other components produced to customer specifications.

FSN Capital, a Nordic private equity fund that invests in medium-sized Nordic companies (annual turnover between NOK 500 to 1,500 million). FSN Capital’s equity fund has committed capital of NOK 450 million.

Further information from:

Kim Wahl, Dep. CEO, Industri Kapital, tel: +47 23 11 46 50
Olav Volldal, CEO, Kongsberg Automotive, tel: +47 32 77 05 00
Frode Strand Nielsen, President, FSN Capital, tel: +47 24 14 73 00/+47 917 31 364

About Industri Kapital

Industri Kapital is a leading European private equity firm with equity capital under management in excess of EUR 3 billion. Since 1989, 43 investments have been made in European companies in various industries. The fund investors are generally large Nordic, European and American institutional investors such as pension funds, investment and insurance companies.

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