Nextrom: Knill Gruppe is now the major shareholder

The agreement between the Austrian Knill Gruppe and Nokia Corporation concerning the sale of all the shares of Nextrom Holding S.A. held by Nokia was closed on 16 March 2005. According to the contract, the Knill Gruppe purchased all the registered shares (1’875′000) and all the bearer shares (1’361′702) held by Nokia in Nextrom Holding S.A., as well as the remaining senior loan from Nokia to Nextrom, for a total price of CHF 7.95 million. This transaction being closed, Nokia has no Nextrom shares left, nor any other outstanding loans to Nextrom.

As part of the transaction, approx. CHF 18.5 million of the CHF 20 million senior loan was repaid through the sale of two long term financial assets. The subordinated loan of CHF 66 million from Nokia to Nextrom was waived.

As a consequence of the transaction, the consolidated balance sheet of Nextrom is showing only approx. CHF 1.5 million of loans and approximately CHF 14 million of equity, and the same amount of cash.

The Knill Gruppe has confirmed its intention to keep Nextrom Holding SA as a public company, traded at the Swiss Stock Exchange. Nextrom will keep its present business activity and remain a global partner.

The Knill Gruppe is planning to consolidate all the fiber optics related business of its Cable and Wire Division (Rosendahl) to Nextrom. This consolidation will enable Nextrom to strengthen its market position in the field of Fiber Optics and will financially enable Nextrom to continue its activities with a clearly improved and strengthened balance sheet.

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