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Bjørge to demerge into two oil and gas service companies

Bjørge ASA has today announced that it will reorganize into two independent companies, with its process, fire and safety solutions divisions demerged into a separate company.

On 17 September 2010, the Board of Directors of Bjørge ASA (“Bjørge”) resolved to propose a demerger to the company’s shareholders, creating two separate companies. The Bjørge Group today comprises two divisions serving a broad range of the oil and gas industry. “New” Bjørge intends to continue as a listed company and include the solutions and services business within valves and instrumentation for the energy and offshore industries. The demerged, new company (”NewCo”), will include the process, fire and safety solutions businesses and will apply for a separate listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Creating separate companies with increased focus and flexibility shall benefit the companies’customers, suppliers and employees, as well as their investors. “New” Bjørge and NewCo will as a result of the demerger be able to develop separately and pursue different growth opportunities geographically, organically and through merger and acquisitions activities. The demerger is expected to become effective in December 2010.

Bjørge’s majority shareholder Bokn Invest, owned by HitecVision and Converto Capital, is pleased to share its own objectives related to this investment. “We have been the major shareholder of Bjørge for a year. Having gained thorough insight of the company and its market we believe that the creation of separate, much more focused entities will enhance the value for shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders. This restructuring represent the beginning of three exciting company and equity stories” says Frank O. Reite, representing Converto Capital in the Bokn Invest AS board of directors

Bokn Invest holds approximately 77% of the shares in Bjørge ASA. Bokn Invest will ensure that the restructuring and transactions following this process will be performed in full accordance with the Norwegain Code of Corporate Governance.  The major owner will aim to provide both companies with the tools necessary to grow organically and strategically. Both business segments have considerable potential for further value enhancing restructuring, while Bokn Invest remains committed to support the market introduction and further development of Naxys.

“This is a natural point in Bjørge’s development to focus and sharpen the business model. Over a period of two to five years we expect these companies to grow significantly in terms of both revenues and profitability and we remain committed to the further development and support of the companies” comments Atle Eide, senior partner in HitecVision and chairman of Bokn Invest. Eide adds: “In accordance with our investment model, it is our plan to remain as an active shareholder over the coming years”