Rautakesko's acquisition of Norgros completed

Rautakesko Ltd, a Kesko Corporation subsidiary, has received the approval of the Norwegian competition authorities to acquire Norgros AS, the owner of Norway's Byggmakker chain of hardware and building materials stores. The other conditions of the transaction have also been fulfilled. The deal was completed today, 7 July 2005. In accordance with the bid, Rautakesko now owns 98% of the company.

On 15 June 2005, Rautakesko signed an agreement to acquire controlling interest in Norgros AS ("Norgros"), owner of Norway's Byggmakker chain, and also offered to purchase the shares not included in that deal at the agreed price. In accordance with the bid, Rautakesko now owns 98% of Norgros. The acquisition price is NOK 952 million (EUR 120 million) at the maximum, of which the part depending on the development of Norgros' business operations during 2005-2008 is NOK 236 million (EUR 30 million) at the maximum.

Norgros manages the Byggmakker hardware and building materials chain, which is the best known in Norway and the market leader with a market share of about 18%. The Byggmakker chain comprises 133 stores, 20 of which owned by Norgros. The other stores of the chain are owned by retailer-entrepreneurs who have signed a chain agreement with Norgros.In 2004, the net sales of the company totalled NOK 3.9 billion (about EUR 496 million) and its operating profit before goodwill amortisation was NOK 106 million (EUR 13.5 million). The company's profit has developed favourably during the last few years. At the end of 2004, Norgros employed 585 persons. The Byggmakker chains' retail sales were NOK 7.3 billion (EUR 928 million) in 2004.

Kesko has published stock exchange releases about the deal on 6 June 2005 and on 15 June 2005.

Further information:
Mikael Forss, Executive Vice President, Rautakesko Ltd, tel. +358 500 909 005

Kesko Corporation

Anne Leppälä-Nilsson
General Counsel

Helsinki Stock Exchange
Main news media

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