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Norway's Findexa plans high dividends when listed

Norwegian telephone directory publisher Findexa said on Wednesday that it aimed to pay unusually high quarterly dividends after a planned flotation on the Oslo stock exchange in May.

Norwegian telephone directory publisher Findexa said on Wednesday that it aimed to pay unusually high quarterly dividends after a planned flotation on the Oslo stock exchange in May.

"This represents Europe's first high-yield dividend share
offering," it said in a statement. "The company aims to pay out
substantially all Findexa's distributable cash flow to its
shareholders in the form of dividends."

Findexa, owner of Norway's Yellow Pages, also said it had
appointed Norwegian Tom Vidar Rygh as non-executive chairman.
Rygh is a consultant who was once head of Enskilda Securities
and has worked at groups including conglomerate Orkla.

Findexa, owned by U.S. private equity firm Texas Pacific
Group and other investors, said that its dividend yield was
"expected to be around three to four times greater than the 2.6
percent dividend yield currently paid by OBX members".

The OBX comprises the leading 25 shares on the Oslo bourse.

The U.S.-owned company would add to a string of new listings
on the Oslo bourse this year, including the introduction of the
world's biggest fertilisers maker Yara , since an
18-month drought ended in December.

"The high dividend policy, aimed at making attractive
dividend payments to shareholders on a quarterly basis, is
possible due in part to the stable, cash-generative nature of
Findexa's business," it said.

Findexa reaffirmed that the initial share offer would total
about 3.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($502.9 million) in new and
existing shares. It did not give a breakdown of the offer.

Texas Pacific acquired the directory group from Telenor in November 2001. Apart from Rygh, Findexa named
another five members to make up its board.

Findexa will list only the Norwegian part of its business,
while Texas Pacific will keep activities in nations including
Russia, Finland and the Baltic countries. In 2003, revenues
totalled 1.98 billion crowns, of which 1.61 billion came from
Norway.

Findexa said it had an estimated 97 percent share of the
market for Norwegian printed directories in 2003, based on
revenues.