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June 20, 2005

Wilh. Wilhelmsen to acquire Unitor

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WW) has reached agreement on acquiring 90.4 percent of the shares in Norway's Unitor group. Wilhelmsen says the acquisition is in line with itsstrategy of developing its Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (WMS) subsidiary into a leading global player in the maritime services sector.

The deal has been concluded with Unitor's principal shareholders - Umoe Industri AS, the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme Fund and Odin Forvaltning. Their holdings corresponds to 90.4 per cent of the outstanding shares in the company, and the agreed price is NOK 73.50 per share.This deal allows WW to secure the rest of the Unitor shares. The total purchase price for all the stock will be just over NOK 1.4 billion (about US$ 217 million.

The acquisition will be finalized once the necessary approvals are secured from the competition authorities in countries where Unitor and the WW group have activities of some size.

"This is a strategically appropriate acquisition for us," says Ingar Skaug, group president and CEO of WW. "WMS has ambitions of taking a leading role in the maritime service industry. Unitor complements its range of services, and substantially expands the potential customer base. This purchase will provide considerable synergies."

WMS aims to become the leading global network for the sale of products and services to the maritime industry. Through its Barber International and Barwil companies, it covers technical management and maintenance of vessels, crewing and agency services and is currently represented by 282 offices in 66 countries.

Unitor delivers products and services to ships in service, as well as equipment and systems for fire protection, safety, incineration and insulation to the global shipbuilding industry. Its network comprises 70 directly-owned offices and 154 agents in 75 countries.

"Unitor will strengthen our ability to secure a leading role in the further development of the maritime service industry," says Dag Schjerven, president of WMS. "We are creating a unique global network for the fleet in service. This also represents a good Norwegian industrial solution."

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