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Press Release


Industri Kapital acquires 80% of the assets of Norway-based Terje Høili AS and Europris Norge AS

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Industri Kapital has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of the wholesale business Terje Høili AS and the franchise rights to the hard discount retail chains Europris and Max 20. The three companies, which are all based in Norway, will be integrated and Industri Kapital, Terje Høili and the other original main shareholders will jointly develop the businesses. The current owners will retain an approximate 20% stake in the new company, to be named Ekstrem Lavpris AS.

Europris currently has 128 stores with sales of approximately NOK 2.0 billion (€265 million) in 2003, while Max 20 has 54 stores (vs 33 at year-end) with sales of approximately NOK 140 million (€17 million) in 2003. The stores provide a broad offering of hard discount grocery and non-food products.

“The discount retail market in Norway possesses significant growth opportunities due to increased price awareness amongst Norwegian consumers. Both Europris and Max 20 have experienced strong growth in the past and currently hold unique positions in the Norwegian market. The management teams have been highly successful in developing the businesses and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to work together with them going forward. We believe that Europris has the long term potential to increase the number of outlets to 200 and Max 20 to 100”, commented Trygve Grindheim of Industri Kapital.

“The strengthened ownership, along with the additional capital and expertise provided by Industri Kapital, will enable our company to take advantage of the development opportunities in this segment”, said Terje Høili, Managing Director of Terje Høili AS.

Odd Sverre Arnøy, Managing Director of the Europris and Max 20 chains, commenting on the transaction, said: “We see significant potential to integrate the operations, further increasing the competitiveness of Europris and Max 20. This will enhance our possibilities to continue developing our position as the leading hard discount retail chains in Norway”.

In developing the business, Industri Kapital will build upon its considerable experience from the retail and consumer market. This includes the retail chain Lindex and the mail order firm Ellos, amongst others.

For further information, please contact:

Trygve Grindheim, Deputy Director, Industri Kapital
Tel: +44 7768 276 304

Sarah Gestetner, Director, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: +44 20 7282 2920

About Industri Kapital

•European private equity firm with Nordic roots
•Manages funds exceeding €3.5 billion from Nordic, European and international institutional investors
•Since 1989, Industri Kapital has acquired 47 European companies through four funds. The current portfolio encompasses 25 companies with a total turnover exceeding €10 billion
•Industri Kapital invests mainly in mid-sized companies with strong cash flows and profit improvement potential operating in mature industries with fundamental underlying growth
•Investment in Norway to date:
oLiva Bil. Car rental company acquired from AVIS Europe in 1991. Listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 1993
oKongsberg Automotive. Niche auto components supplier acquired by a public offering on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 1999. Sold to FSN Capital in 2001
oDyno Nobel. Leading manufacturer of commercial explosives acquired through a public offering for Dyno Industrier on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2000. The company is still in Industri Kapital’s portfolio

About Terje Høili AS

•Importer and distributor of hard discount products (groceries, hygiene, non-food and textiles)
•Owner and Managing Director: Terje Høili
•Established in 1979
•Head office and main warehouse in Fredrikstad
•Formalised distribution with Rema 1000 in 1993
•Extensive portfolio of non-food introduced in 1994
•Acquired 50% of Europris Norge AS in 2000
•Key customers: Europris and Max 20, Rema 1000
•Employees: 120
•Net turnover (2003): NOK 1.1 billion

About Europris

•Hard discount retail chain organised as a franchise concept
•First shop opened on 18 May 1992 in Stavanger
•Europris Norge AS established in 1992
•Head office at Ganddal in Sandnes
•Owners are Ganddal Invest (Wiggo Erichsen, Jan Egil Gulbrandsen and Terje Baltzersen) with 50% (founders), and Høili Invest AS (Terje Høili) with 50%
•Managing Director: Odd Sverre Arnøy
•128 retail outlets in Norway (August 2004)
•Employees (Europris Norge AS): 40
•Employees (retail stores): 900
•Gross turnover (2003): NOK 1.95 billion
•30 different suppliers, of which Terje Høili AS is the main supplier

About Max 20

•Hard discount retail chain in shopping centres
•First shop opened in June 2001 (Grønlandstorget in Oslo)
•Max 20 Norge AS established in June 2001
•Head office at Ganddal in Sandnes
•Main owner is Europris Norge AS
•Managing Director: Odd Sverre Arnøy (42)
•Hard discount retail chain organised in own retail company, with shop manager as co-owner (minority share)
•54 retail outlets in Norway (August 2004)
•Europris Norge AS and Max 20 AS have a joint organisation that serves both chains
•Employees (retail stores): 200
•Gross turnover (2003): NOK 140 million
•10 different suppliers, of which Terje Høili AS is the main supplier

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