Norway Post accepts offer for stake in IT firm EVRY

Norway Post accepts offer for stake in IT firm EVRY

Norway Post has accepted an offer for its 40% stake in the IT company EVRY. The Post is joined by co-investor Telenor Business Partner in agreeing to the NOK 16 (EUR 1.81) per share offer from Lyngen Bidco AS, a firm owned by private equity group Apax Partners.

Together, Norway Post and Telenor currently own a 70.24% stake in EVRY, which has about 10,000 employees and an annual turnover approaching NOK 13n (EUR 1.47bn).

Directors of the Oslo-based EVRY had been reviewing the direction of the company, leading to Norway Post’s disclosure back in early September that it could end up selling its stake.

EVRY said the offer for its shares represented a 31% premium on the closing price as of 26 August, the last trading day before the company announced its review.

The offer values the company, excluding its treasury bonds, at NOK 4.27bn (EUR 484m), which puts Norway Post’s stake at a value of NOK 1.7bn (EUR 193m).

EVRY said the offer from Apax was the result of a “careful consideration” of all alternative options for the company, and the interest received in it. Ajax has 30 years of investment experience, and advises funds investing in consumer, healthcare, services and technology sectors.

Strategy

The firm said Apax’s “considerable” international IT services expertise would help pit accelerate its strategy to develop strong aspects of the business, including its financial services.

Terje Mjøs, the EVRY CEO, said: “Apax’s interest in EVRY confirms and emphasizes our growth prospects and the opportunities in our market space. I am confident that private ownership will benefit our next phase of profitable growth, and we are looking forward to accelerate and expand our strategy together with Apax to fulfil our ambitions.”

EVRY, which recently missed out on a major contract to run Norway Post’s own IT operations, will continue to be based in Norway following the change in ownership, the companies said.

The company has a presence in 50 towns and cities in Norway and Sweden.

The offer for for shares has been accepted by the owners of 73.85% of shares in EVRY, with the government pension fund, Folketrygdfondet, pre-accepting the offer for its 3.15% stake.

The deal must win the approval of 90% of shareholders to go through.

Norway Post said it had a long history of ownership in EVRY, going back to 1995. It originally bought Statens Datasentral (State Data Centre), the forerunner of EVRY, to help develop its business and prepare it to cope with a digital future. The firm was renamed Posten SDS, then became ErgoGroup in January 2001. The company was strengthened by various acquisitions and mergers, listing in 2010, with Norway Post’s stake amounting to 40% of the company, which was renamed EVRY in 2012.

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