Bjørge ASA implements Group management changes

Steinar Aasland is the new President and CEO of the technology company Bjørge ASA and Trine Sæther Romuld has been appointed Executive Vice President in charge of finance and treasury. Steinar Aasland has extensive industrial management experience and comprehensive oil and gas industry expertise. He joins Bjørge from his most recent position as managing director of Ahlsell Norge. Mr. Aasland succeeds Stig Feyling as CEO of Bjørge ASA effective today, Tuesday, 5 January 2010. ?Bjørge is entering a new phase in its development. Thus, this is an appropriate time for me to leave the company to take on new challenges. The Board and I also agree that a leadership handover should take place soon after the assumption of control over Bjørge by Aker Capital Fund and HitecVision via the company Bokn Invest,? says Stig Feyling. Mr. Feyling has been Bjørge?s CEO for the past three years; he has been a Bjørge executive for seven years. Following his departure from Bjørge, he will enter key positions in other companies owned by HitecVision. ?Stig Feyling along with the company?s management team and employees have methodically built Bjørge over the past several years. Revenues have doubled and the company has transitioned from a trusted supplier of components and systems for mechanical installations to a technology-focused industrial group. The Board thanks Feyling for his considerable efforts,? says Bjørge?s Board Chairman Frank O. Reite. ?The Board is pleased that Steinar Aasland has accepted our offer to tackle the demanding tasks ahead that will strengthen and further develop the company.? Steinar Aasland (43) has been managing director of Ahlsell Norge since 2004. Under his leadership, the company?s revenues grew from NOK 800 million to NOK 5.5 billion. From 1992 to 2004, Aasland held several managerial positions at Stavanger Rørhandel, which was acquired by the Swedish company Ahlsell. Aasland?s educational background encompasses machine technology and a Masters degree in corporate management and strategy.  ?Bjørge is an industrial group holding an exciting portfolio of companies and products with strong market positions. The potential for greater development remains strong. I look forward to further realizing Bjørge?s potential, together with the company?s employees, owners, customers, and suppliers,? says Steinar Aasland. Bjørge?s management is further strengthened by the appointment of Trine Sæther Romuld (41) as Executive Vice President in charge of finance and treasury. Ms. Sæther Romuld joins Bjørge from her position as CFO and Investment Director of Converto Capital Management, which serves as investment advisor to Aker Capital Fund. Ms. Sæther Romuld, a state-authorized public accountant and graduate of the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH), was previously Group Executive Vice President of Aker ASA, CFO of Aker Drilling, and CFO of Marine Harvest. Bjørge?s new management team will comprise the following members: Steinar Aasland, Tor Hellestøl, Erik Christensen, and Trine Sæther Romuld. Ms. Romuld will gradually assume her new responsibilities, working full-time at Bjørge as of late March 2010.  ?The management changes at Bjørge provide continuity and take place during a period with solid activity for the group. Bjørge enters 2010 with a focus on securing sales growth and efficient project execution. Strategic goals are growth in current business areas and increasing the proportion of revenues from service and maintenance activities,? comment Frank O. Reite and Atle Eide, who are majority-owner representatives on Bjørge?s board of directors. Atle Eide, Senior Partner at HitecVision, comments that he looks forward to continuing to work with Stig Feyling. Activities will include board representation and close follow-up of other important HitecVision-controlled companies. Feyling will become board chairman of Technor and a Valco board member. Pursuant to Bjørge?s employment contract with Stig Feyling, he will receive 12 months severance salary totaling NOK 2,1 million. He will also receive a payment of NOK 1,6 million for bonus income earned for previous years. As CEO of Bjørge, Steinar Aasland will receive an annual salary of NOK 2 million. Stavanger, 5 January 2010. For further information, please contact: Frank O. Reite, Board Chairman, Bjørge ASA, tel: +47 915 80 604 +------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ |Bjørge ASA delivers process and safety-critical products and systems as well | |as a complete range of services that maintain lifecycle-long performance. This| |perspective ensures optimal operations and lower lifecycle costs. Bjørge has | |extensive experience as a supplier to the Norwegian oil and gas industry and | |select international markets; the company represents some of the world?s | |leading suppliers. Bjørge also invests significant resources in its | |proprietary technologies and system integration. Bjørge has 525 employees. | |  | |Bokn Invest AS owns 76.5 percent of Bjørge ASA shares. The funds HitecVision | |Private Equity V and Aker Capital Fund are Bokn Invest owners. Bokn Invest | |only holds shares in Bjørge. | |  | |HitecVision ranks among the largest private equity investors in Europe focused| |on the oil and gas industry. HitecVision manages two funds with assets | |totaling some NOK 7 billion for leading investors in Norway and | |internationally. The funds invest in growth companies in the oil and gas | |industry. With roots dating back to the mid-1980s, the HitecVision team has | |invested in and/or established more than 70 companies, exited over 60 | |companies, and led seven IPOs. HitecVision has 27 employees working at | |headquarters in Stavanger and at local offices in Oslo, Aberdeen, and Houston.| |  | |Converto Capital Management manages Aker Capital Fund, an investment fund with| |total assets of approximately NOK 1.5 billion and 11 portfolio companies in | |offshore oil and gas, seafood, shipping, and shipbuilding. Converto Capital | |Management has eight employees at its Oslo office; the team possesses broad | |financial and industrial experience. Aker ASA is the majority owner of | |Converto Capital Management and Aker Capital Fund. | +------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act) [HUG#1370180]