Norwegian Finance Holding ASA (“NOFI”) has today entered into an agreement granting the right to acquire shares in the Irish company Lilienthal Finance Limited (Lilienthal). Lilienthal is a wholly owned subsidiary of HBK Holding AS (“HBK”). It is the intention that Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA ("NAS") and NOFI jointly with HBK can control the company.
Lilienthal is established to develop banking services in Europe and will apply for a banking license in Ireland. The company has entered into an agreement with NAS and its subsidiary Norwegian Air Brand Limited ("NAB") regarding the use of the rights related to the Norwegian brand for banking services in Europe outside the Nordic region. Lilienthal will have the same rights in Europe outside the Nordic region as Bank Norwegian has in the Nordic countries.
The agreement provides an opportunity for NOFI and NOFI shareholders to participate in the development of banking services outside the Nordic region, following the same business concept as in Bank Norwegian today. NOFI will own shares directly in Lilienthal during the project phase but aim for NOFI shareholders to receive direct subscription rights when Lilienthal is to be capitalized after being granted the banking license.
CEO Tine Wollebekk of NOFI states that "The Bank's existing business and customer growth in the Nordic region is very strong and continues to be positive. We will now increase our efforts to export the business model to other markets in Europe."
CEO Bjørn Kjos in NAS says that "The Norwegian Reward affinity program, together with fully digital banking operations and well-proven credit models, has created substantial value for the bank’s and the airline's shareholders. We have entered into an agreement that allows the bank's shareholders, including NAS itself, the opportunity to capitalize on the values associated with the Norwegian brand along with efficient operations and digital banking solutions."
At an extraordinary general meeting later today, the company will consider a proposal by a shareholder to re-domicile the bank quickly. The board of NOFI has proposed to reject the proposal but is working long-term to increase the value of the company. The question of domiciliation is continuously assessed in this work.
Update on Bank Norwegian’s operations in the fourth quarter 2018
Bank Norwegian’s operations are developing as expected so far in the fourth quarter. The bank is experiencing continued healthy loan demand in Norway and in the other Nordic markets. Lending margins are stable in all markets. Provisions for loan losses are developing according to expectations as communicated at the third quarter results presentation.