Sampo Sells Dutch Unit, Storebrand Board Backs Bid

July 5, 2001

Finland’s Sampo announced that it has agreed to sell its Dutch unit, Sampo Industrial Insurance N.V. to U.K. insurer Hampden plc; the price will be based on the next 5 years operating results.

The move comes as part of Sampo’s strategy aimed at concentrating its efforts in Scandinavia, and around the Baltic rim. It is also planning on consolidating its p/c activities into If, which it owns along with Norway’s Storebrand and Sweden’s Skandia.

Its bid for Storebrand, Norway’s largest insurer, which has so far been blocked by the opposition of Den Norske Bank (see previous article), received a boost when the company’s board of directors issued a statement reaffirming their support for Sampo’s bid.

Their stance increases the pressure on Den Norske, which owns close to 10 percent of Storebrand’s shares, and is in a position to block Sampo’s bid, to either increase its own offer for the company, or drop its opposition.

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