OSLO, Norway, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Shareholders representing approximately 24% of the shares and votes of B2 Impact ASA request an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting to elect new Board of Directors.
A group of shareholders in B2 Impact ASA (the “Company”) including the founding partner Jon Harald Nordbrekken and associated companies; Valset Invest AS and F2Kapital AS together with Gulen Invest AS (the “Shareholders”) have today, in accordance with section 5-7 (2) of the Norwegian Public Limited Liability Companies Act, jointly requested that the board of directors of the Company convenes an Extraordinary General Meeting in the Company to resolve on the election of new members of the Board until the next annual general meeting in 2024. Prioritet Group AB, the largest shareholder in the Company also supports the request for appointment of a new board. Jointly, the request is put forward by shareholders representing approximately 24% of the Company’s shares.
Following the election, the new board is proposed to be composed of four new Directors, including Anders Engdahl as Chairman, Jon Harald Nordbrekken as Vice Chairman, Ellen Hanetho as Director, Nils Wiberg as Director and re-election of Jessica Sparrfeldt.
“I am very pleased that we are able to propose such an experienced board with over hundred years of combined industry experience. The debt collection industry is facing a number of critical challenges posed by rising interest rates, inflation as well as rapid technological change. At the same time, it also presents a number of attractive opportunities as many competitors struggle to adapt to this new environment. For B2 Impact ASA to capitalize on these opportunities we believe it is the right time to appoint new leadership and for the owners to take a more active role in the transformation of the business. To support this change, I will assume an active role on the Board of Directors to help realize the full potential of the business,” says Jon Harald Nordbrekken, founding partner and shareholder of B2 Impact ASA.
The Shareholders are of the view that the Company needs to reconsider its strategy and focus on the following core areas:
- Reduce Cost and Complexity: Structurally reduce group common and local overhead costs through simplified decentralized governance and removing all non-value added activities.
- Enhance Focus: Reduce geographic footprint, build volume and leverage in-market scale. Going forward, the company should focus on collection of unsecured consumer receivables.
- Reduce Indebtedness: Adopt capital light strategy including a partnership with an international investment fund to invest in portfolios outside the Company’s balance sheet, release capital, reduce indebtedness and interest expenses and drive servicing fees.
- Invest in Technology: Accelerate digital adoption by investing into modern collection system technology that could substantially lower cost-to-collect through automated workflows and smarter processes.
- Deliver Profitable Growth: Create profitable organic servicing revenue growth through co-operation with portfolio investors and banks in selected markets as well as acquisitions of businesses that allow the Company to leverage economies of scale.
“I am honoured and excited to be proposed as new Chairman of B2 Impact ASA. I expect to work closely with the new Board of Directors and management to lead the re-orientation of the Company. I believe that if adopting a capital light strategy, the Company is well positioned to take advantage of the emerging opportunities and supportive NPL cycle that can deliver substantial value to shareholders over next few years,” says Anders Engdahl, proposed Chairman of the Board.
In addition, it has been proposed that the following members shall be elected to the Nomination Committee until the annual general meeting in 2024: Frode Foss-Skiftesvik as Chairman, Kjetil Andreas Garstad as Member and Niklas Wiberg as Member.
Background on the proposed board members:
Anders Engdahl, Chairman
Anders Engdahl is a seasoned NPL investment and servicing executive with over 25 years financial services experience. Until Aug 2022, Anders was the CEO of Intrum AB, Europe’s largest debt collector where he spent in total eight years in several roles including CEO, CFO and CIO. Prior to joining Intrum, Anders was Managing Director at Morgan Stanley’s Financial Institutions Group. Anders started his career with Goldman Sachs in London in 1997. He graduated with an M.Sc. In Economics and Managerial Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Jon Harald Nordbrekken, Deputy chairman and board member
Jon Harald Nordbrekken is a founder and the third largest shareholder in B2 Impact ASA. After four years as CEO of Intrum Justitia Norway, Nordbrekken founded Aktiv Kapital in 1991, where he stayed on as CEO until 1999 and as Chair from 1999 to 2004. In 2005, he founded B2Holding AS, now B2 Impact ASA, parent to both Gothia Financial Group and Bank2. Gothia was sold to Herkules in 2008 and Nordbrekken stepped down as Chair of the Board of Bank2 in 2010, before establishing the “new” B2Holding the following year. Nordbrekken was the Chair of the Board of B2 Impact ASA until 2020.
Ellen Hanetho, Board member
Ellen Merete Hanetho has 20 years of experience from investment banking and private equity as a finance and business development executive in corporations such as Frigaard Invest, Credo Partners, Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division in London and the Brussels Stock Exchange and Citibank in Brussels. She is founder and chairperson of Cercis, a cleantech investment company established in 2020. Ellen holds a BSBA from Boston University, US and an MBA from Solvay University, Belgium in addition to executive training from INSEAD, France and Harvard Business School, US.
Nils Wiberg, Board member
Nils Wiberg is the founder and CEO of Prioritet Group AB. Nils has a very long and solid career within the financial services industry. Nils joined Nordbanken 1986 (currently Nordea) and became CEO of Nordbanken Inkasso focused on debt collection and debt restructuring within the private and corporate sector. Nils was with Nordbanken until 1997. In 1981 Nils founded Prioritet Group which focuses on financial services and asset management. Prioritet Group is the largest shareholder of B2 Impact ASA and wholly owned by Nils Wiberg.
Featured image: Megapixl © Jwohlfeil