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Nordic Capital Pumps New Life into Thule

Published December 30, 2008

MALMO, Sweden (BRAIN)—Thule’s majority owner Nordic Capital Fund VI and seven Nordic banks have agreed to substantially strengthen the capital base of the company with a hefty cash infusion.

According to London's Financial Times, Nordic Capital has injected around 500 million (Swedish Krona) ($64 million) into Thule, allowing Nordic Capital to maintain its 70 percent stake in the business. The rest of the share capital is held by management of Thule.

The restructuring wipes out a loan of about 2 billion (Swedish Krona) from Goldman Sachs.

“This forms a solid base for the company going forward. We have gone through a very intense period during the past months to align our financial structure to substantially changed market conditions. I am very pleased that this solution is now in place and that Nordic Capital Fund VI remains as majority owner of Thule," said chief executive officer Anders Pettersson.

Thule’s forecasted trading for the full fiscal year of 2008 is estimated at 6 billion (Swedish Krona) in net sales. The operating result before interest expenses, tax, depreciations and amortizations (EBITDA) is expected to be in the range of 550-600 million. Net sales on pro forma basis for 2007 were at 6.7 billion with an EBITDA of 765 million.

“We have managed to gain market share during the year despite a very challenging business environment. Additionally, we have implemented a wide range of internal efficiency programs to offset the effects of weaker sales in business areas closely related to the car industry," Pettersson said. “The successful financial restructuring of Thule enables us to 100 percent focus on our operations during 2009. We have a very strong balance sheet and access to sufficient cash resources to weather the storm on major global markets. Current earnings show also that we can continue to make a healthy profit in spite of tough market conditions.

“Thule is an excellent company with an outstanding brand and products. Our business partners and customers can rely on us building an even stronger Thule in the coming years," Pettersson added.

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