Swedbank to acquire remaining 49 per cent stake in First Securities

Swedish financial services firm gains remaining share of Norwegian investment management firm for $9

Swedbank, a Sweden-based financial services firm, has agreed to acquire the outstanding 49 per cent stake in First Securities, a Norway-based investment management firm, from the minority employee shareholders for approximately $90m in cash.

Since 2002, Swedbank was the shareholder of the First Securities, which has 230 employees in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger.

The acquisition is expected to strengthen Swedbank financial service offering to its retail and corporate customers as well as to institutional investors with operations or interests in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Through their respective complementary strengths, Swedbank and First Securities will services within equities, commercial paper, bond markets, fixed income and foreign exchange services, as well as in institutional sales, corporate finance and Nordic and Baltic equity research.

The acquisition is expected to be completed during November 2010.

First Securities CEO Jorgen Ulvness said together with Swedbank, First Securities can take the next step in its development from an advisory-driven investment firm to a fully integrated corporate bank utilizing Swedbank's strong balance sheet.