Sampo May Give Up Storebrand Bid

September 24, 2001

Sampo, the Finnish financial group which has been seeking to acquire Norway’s largest insurer, Storebrand, may be about to abandon its efforts in the face of the Norwegian government’s continued opposition, and the current turmoil in the financial markets caused by the terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Sampo has extended its bid for Storebrand shares a number of times. The current expiration date is September 28. So far Den Norske Bank, a rival bidder, has refused to tender its approximately 10 percent holding, leaving Sampo short of the 90 percent control Norwegian law requires for the takeover of a financial institution.

Sampo’s original NKr 75 ($8.72) bid is now well above the current level of Storebrand shares, which closed at NKr 45 ($5.22) on Friday, making the deal far more expensive, and less attractive than it was.

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