Transactions

December 2006
Oslo, Norway
has been acquired by
Amsterdam, Netherlands


Background

Hugin ASA is one of Europe’s leading distributors of investor and customer related communications.  From its offices in nine European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK), the Company distributes press releases, e-mails, faxes, video and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of more than 1,200 client companies located in 20 European countries.

The company was founded in 1985 by MIT graduate and former McKinsey consultant Karl-Christian Agerup, along with partner Ingar Ostby, an investor and industry veteran. Together, they had formed a venture-capital firm that provided initial funding to Hugin.  Initially, Karl-Christian led the Company personally - establishing operations in multiple countries.  Over time they brought in additional financial backing from two of Scandinavia’s largest media firms: Schibsted and Orkla, as well as from life insurance firm Nordea.  Eventually, Karl-Christian stepped away from day-to-day management to focus on other investment activities, and turned the Company over to professional managers. Over the next few years, the company rapidly grew.

Prior to engaging M&A, the Company was approached by several strategic firms interested in Hugin’s leadership position within this burgeoning sector.  While the Company was growing well, with Europe in the early stages of significant regulatory reform (including expansion of the EEC, a new European “Transparency Directive” and strengthened financial reporting requirements) and with increasing consolidation within the global corporate communications industry, Hugin’s Management and Board concluded that they should explore opportunities to join Hugin with a strategic partner.  They engaged M&A as the Company’s exclusive strategic and financial advisor.



M&A helped the owners and Management conduct a disciplined process that led to discussions with twelve potential partners and ultimately generated indications of interest from four. Seven months after engaging M&A, the owners agreed to sell the Company to Euronext, the pan-European exchange.

Euronext had previously entered the corporate news distribution market through its acquisition of Companynews, a company that had built its own strong positions in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain - locations that were highly complimentary to those of Hugin. As part of the transaction, Euronext announced plans to merge and integrate Hugin and Companynews and also announced that the Hugin CEO would lead the combined entity.

Marlin & Associates New York LLC (“M&A”) initiated this transaction, managed the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Hugin ASA.

Euronext Agrees to Acquire Hugin ASA

December 13, 2006

Euronext Agrees to Acquire Hugin ASA

Marlin & Associates Acted as Exclusive Strategic and Financial Advisor to Hugin ASA

NEW YORK, NY (December 13, 2006) Marlin & Associates New York LLC announced that its client: Hugin ASA, the leading provider of news dissemination services for European companies, has agreed to be acquired by Euronext N.V., the pan-European exchange (Amsterdam: NXTA; Paris: ENX). Marlin is the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Hugin. The acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

"Our firm enjoys strong relationships with many of the world’s most creative and forward-thinking financial, legal, and marketing technology and content businesses," said Ken Marlin, Managing Partner, Marlin & Associates. “Hugin and Euronext are both such companies. We enjoyed working with these two fine companies and are pleased to have played a role in bringing them together."

“News dissemination services and press release distribution is an industry that has been consolidating globally over the past year,” said Karl-Christian Agerup, one of the founders and Chairman of Hugin ASA.  “The European Disclosure directive being implemented from January 2007 will fuel European market growth in the next years. We conducted a structured process to find a new owner for Hugin that could capitalize on this opportunity. We are pleased with the process and the outcome.  Euronext is a great brand and a long term owner that will ensure that Hugin will stay a leader in this industry in the future.”

Marlin & Associates

Founded in 2002, Marlin & Associates is a boutique investment banking and strategic consulting firm focused on providing highly strategic and specialized, transaction-related services to U.S. and nternational middle-market firms engaged in technology, information, on-line media and business-services. The firm is based in New York City with a Washington, DC office.

Marlin & Associates' professionals have advised on over 200 successfully completed transactions in the technology and information services sector.

Recently, the firm was recognized by the The M&A Advisor for leading the “Financial Technology Deal of the Year”.   Marlin received the award for its role as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Brainpower N.V., in its sale to Bloomberg L.P.  The M&A Advisor award winners were chosen based on the importance of the transaction, unique deal characteristics, transaction difficulty, and overall impact on the industry. Marlin & Associates was nominated for (and a finalist) for awards in three different categories.

In addition to Hugin and Brainpower, Marlin & Associates was the exclusive  advisor to numerous technology-related firms that recently made strategic moves including:

  • Triple Point Technology of Westport, Connecticut, which Marlin & Associates advised on the sale of a majority interest to ABRY Partners, one of the most experienced and successful private equity firms in North America.
  • Cameron Systems (Vic) of Sydney, Australia, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Orc Software of Stockholm, Sweden (STKM: ORC).
  • Derivative Solutions, of Chicago, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS).
  • Beauchamp Financial Technology Ltd. of London, England, which Marlin and Associates advised on its sale to Linedata Services of Paris, France (PARIS: LIN).
  • Global Securities Information, of Washington D.C., which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to the Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC).
  • Interactive Technologies, Inc. of Summit, NJ, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV).
  • europrospectus.com, of East Sussex, UK, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS).

For more information go to www.MarlinAndAssociates.com 
Contact: Michael Maxworthy at +1 646 495-5141
or contact@marlinandassociates.com .

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