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Tallink seeking for major investor

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The listed company Tallink Grupp AS informed the stock exchange that they have initiated  “a process for exploring strategic options”, which could mean that a large share of the enterprise is for sale.

Investment banker Henrik Igasta explained that if an enterprise makes such a statement, it generally means the sale of the company. “In other words, they are seeking for a new majority owner”, he detailed.

The massive transaction would not be a big surprise for Igasta. “One can presume that the current majority owners have received some indications and if the deal should go through, it would hardly be unprofitable for them”, the financial expert explained. Yet it is unclear at present, which of the firm's major shareholders would sell their shares.

In case the new core investor should acquire majority share or more than 50 percent of shares, it has to make a take-over offer to small investors. That could, but need not mean that Tallink will leave the list of firms quoted on the stock exchange. “There are many speculations at present, but next months should show what will happen”, Igasta said.

Tallink Grupp announced July 19 evening that the supervisory board of the group had decided to initiate a process of considering possible strategic options for Tallink. Citigroup Global Markets has been appointed as the financial advisor of this process, the firm stated.

The strategic options under consideration would have to support Tallink's long-term strategy and can be linked with involving new core investors for the company, which can result in some of the existing shareholders divesting their shares, the board said.

The firm's management board also said that no further announcements relating to this process would be made unless it is required or appropriate. “It is not possible to give any assurances for the time being that any transaction will occur as a result of this process.”

As of now, 38 percent of Tallink Grupp belongs to AS Infortar, which is owned by Ain Hanschmidt, Enn Pant and Kalev Järvelill.

A further 23.68 percent of Tallink or 158.6 million shares belong to three enterprises, which recently concluded an agreement. According to the company's stock exchange announcement Citigroup Venture Capital International Growth Partnership (Employee) II L.P. on July 6 granted a right of first refusal to purchase any or all of the shares in the company to Baltic Cruises Holding L.P., which owns 16.1 percent of Tallink, and Baltic Cruises Investment L.P., which owns 5.51 percent of the shipper.

The three enterprises also agreed to only divest shares they owned in the same transaction, at the same time, in the same proportion and on similar terms. The agreement is terminated when none of the companies hold shares in Tallink.

The price of the share on July 19 closed at 0.946 euros, which would make the price of the share package 150 million euros.

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