Merger created negative value

Intrum Justitia’s board, the banks and short sellers are the only ones to have gained from the debt collection company’s merger with Lindorf, reports Dagens Industri (DI). The board’s fees have been raised by 20% while shareholders have seen the value of their holdings fall by as much in the past ten weeks.

In order to meet EU regulation, Intrum Justitia is having to divest a number of units. “It’s a buyer’s market – everyone knows that Intrum has just six months in which to sell the units. And they have paid excessive fees to their advisors, while short sellers love the share,” say experts to the business daily.

Agency warned of merger

Dagens Nyheter yesterday revealed that the Swedish government is drawing up a crisis plan for PostNord, which it owns together with the Danish government. A working document reveals that the government is concerned over profitability and the Danish part of the business is the main problem.

PostNord Denmark has been in the red since 2012 and there are fears among Swedish politicians that taxpayers will end up footing the bill to secure Swedish postal services.

One of the problems is that while the Swedish government owns 60% of the shares, it only has 50% of the vote in PostNord. According to DN, it is virtually impossible to implement any major change, unless all board members are in agreement.

When the merger was agreed in 2008, Nutek, the Swedish agency for economic and regional growth, commented that the deal was a poor one for Sweden.

Meanwhile, Moderate MP Lars Hjälmered, the deputy chair of the parliamentary committee on industry and trade, believes measures need to be taken to ensure the Danish business makes a profit, saying. “PostNord must decide what that is, be it a change in ownership, or streamlining or whatever. But it is obvious that something needs to be done; it cannot be allowed to run at a loss.”