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Local consortium purchases Salvesen & Thams

Bjørn M. Wiggen

Bjørn M. Wiggen

Orkla is selling Salvesen & Thams to a consortium with local roots in the Trøndelag region, led by Orkla's former President and CEO Bjørn M. Wiggen.

Orkla has decided to sell up to 100% of the shares of the company Salvesen & Thams. The purchaser is a consortium led by Orkla's former President and CEO Bjørn M. Wiggen, and consists of employees of Salvesen & Thams, as well as local investors who have been invited to participate in the consortium. The final establishment of the consortium will take place during Q4 2012, so that the transaction can be completed before the end of the year.

The sales price for the Salvesen & Thams company is NOK 235.3 million.

The company was established in 1898 to provide transport services and electrical power to the mining operations at Løkken Verk. When the mine closed in 1987, Salvesen & Thams was given the task of preserving and communicating the history of Orkla, in addition to carrying out business development through investment in companies at Løkken Verk and in the region.

Salvesen & Thams consists of three business areas, power, property and investment. The company's power division sells approx. 29 GWh from five small power stations. The company owns approx. 11,000 hectares of property, consisting of forest and outlying agricultural land, and industrial sites, as well as housing plots and property. The investment portfolio consists of shareholdings in a number of companies, mainly located in Central Norway. The largest holdings are in Axess (20%), Medistim (10%), Devico (20%), Ayanda (11%), Dynamic Rock Support (35%) and Simpro (45%).

 Salvesen & Thams has 9 full-time employees.

The guest house at Løkken will remain in Orkla's ownership. Løkken church will be offered to Meldal Parish Church Council, together with a fund of NOK 1 million. The historic buildings at Løkken associated with the Thamshavnbanen will be offered to the Orkla Industrial Museum Trust, together with a fund of NOK 20 million. The museum fund will contribute to the preservation of mining history at Løkken Verk, and ensure continued railway operation on the Thamshavnbanen.

"Orkla is committed to the preservation of Løkken Verk, which is where the Group's history began. The company has made a number of investments here over the years. Orkla is now in the middle of a transformational phase which will change it into a branded consumer goods company. We are convinced that new owners will be more suitable for the tasks that are linked to Løkken Verk, and will be able to develop Salvesen & Thams. That is why we responded positively to the dialogue process that Bjørn Wiggen began this summer. He is heading up a locally-based ownership team, which makes us feel very certain that we have found the best solution for all parties," says Orkla's President and CEO, Åge Korsvold.

Bjørn M. Wiggen has been Salvesen & Thams' Chairman of the Board for more than 20 years, and is strongly linked to Løkken Verk.

"I am very pleased that we can now develop the company with strong local owners. This gives completely new opportunities to create growth and value in the local community, and throughout the region. Salvesen & Thams will be a central player in business and industry in Central Norway, and carry out business development that is based on active ownership," says Wiggen. "I am really looking forward to moving back to the Trøndelag region and getting involved as a working Chairman of the Board, in order to support the company's offensive strategy."