Historic industrial firm gears for stock spin-off

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Borregaard, which has long played an important role in Norway’s industrial history, is about to be spun off from its parent company of the past quarter-century and get a stock exchange listing of its own. Borregaard insiders are signing up for shares at a level that suggests they have faith in the firm’s prospects.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Tuesday that insiders have carried the amount of subscribed shares in Borregaard up to fully 87 percent, in advance of the firm being spun off from industrial firm Orkla. Borregaard will start trading on its own on the Oslo Stock Exchange on October 18. Insiders, who are restricted from trading shares in which they have inside information, can still commit themselves to buy stakes in new issues.

Among them is Orkla chairman Stein Erik Hagen, who has signed up to take 9.9 million shares in Borregaard, an investment valued at “between NOK 198 million and NOK 248 million,” according to DN. Borregaard’s chief executive, Per Arthur Sørlie, has committed to buy 999,999 shares.

The pending purchases are signs that Hagen and Sørlie expect positive development for Borregaard, which was founded by the Kellner Partington Paper and Pulp Company of Great Britain in 1889 and taken over by Norwegian owners in 1918. It produced paper and cellulose, was taken over by Orkla in 1986 and now is in the biochemical business based on timber products. It owns and operates what it calls the world’s most advanced biorefinery, producing the biochemicals, biomaterials and bioethanol that replace oil-based products.

Borregaard is based in Sarpsborg in southeast Norway, logged revenues of NOK 4bn last year, profits of NOK 531 million and has around 1,100 employees.

newsinenglish.no staff