SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge acquires a foothold in Russian banking industry

Today, SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge has entered into an agreement to acquire a 10 per cent equity stake in Bank Tavrichesky OJSC in St. Petersburg. In addition, as part of this agreement, a new bank will be established in Murmansk, based on Bank Tavrichesky's branch in Murmansk.

Today, SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge has entered into an agreement to acquire a 10 per cent equity stake in Bank Tavrichesky OJSC in St. Petersburg. In addition, as part of this agreement, a new bank will be established in Murmansk, based on Bank Tavrichesky's branch in Murmansk. SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge will own 75 per cent of the new bank and Bank Tavrichesky 25 per cent.
 
The Share Acquisition Agreement which has now been entered into is a direct follow-up of the Letter of Intent which was signed by Bank Tavrichesky and SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge on 19 December last year.
 
According to this agreement, SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge acquires 32.8 million shares in Bank Tavrichesky, at a value of some NOK 70 million. Furthermore, the agreement also commits SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge to participate in a planned issue of shares during the course of 2008. A 10 per cent participation in this issue will amount to approximately NOK 20 million. In addition, as part of this agreement, a new bank will be established in Murmansk, based on Bank Tavrichesky's branch in Murmansk. SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge will own 75 per cent of the new bank and Bank Tavrichesky 25 per cent. In this connection, a licence is required from the public authorities in Russia and Norway.
 
Bank Tavrichesky OJSC's head office is located in St. Petersburg and the bank has branches in seven Russian towns, including Murmansk. The bank's assets amount to some 12 billion roubles. Bank Tavrichesky is the 11th largest regional bank in North-Western Russia. Its operations mainly involve medium-sized corporate customers. The bank has some 456 staff.
 
SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge's main Board of Directors has decided to establish a separate North-Western Russia Region at the Bank. This will become the Bank's sixth region, which will be responsible for developing the Bank's activities in the Russian market. The Regional General Manager for the new region will be Svein Randa, who is at present Head of Strategy and Development at the Bank. Helge Fredeng has been appointed a General Manager with responsibility for Cross Boarder activities towards Northwestern-Russia, and the Bank's branch at Kirkenes has been strengthened in order to take care of increased activities towards North-Western Russia. SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge will also be represented through a member of Bank Tavrichesky's Board of Directors. Group Director for Corporate Markets, Olav Karlsen, was today elected by Bank Tavrichesky's General Assembly as member of the bank's Board of Directors.