May 18, 2017 / 6:26 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Intrum Justitia proposes spin-offs to meet EU demands on Lindorff merger, shares fall

(Adds CFO comments, shares)

May 18 (Reuters) - Swedish debt collection firm Intrum Justitia proposed a string of divestments on Thursday which it believes will be enough to assuage European Commission concerns over its planned merger with Norwegian rival Lindorff.

* “We judge there is a very low risk that this package will not be received in a positive way,” Intrum Justitia CFO Erik Forsberg told journalists on a conference call on Thursday

* “There are no guarantees but we are doing exactly what the EU Commission has asked us to do.”

* Intrum shares fall as much as 8.1 pct in early trade

* Proposal of remedies to meet requirements of the EU merger regulation related to merger with Lindorff, in which Nordic Capital Fund VIII is currently the indirect majority shareholder

* Based on its initial investigation, the European Commission has informed the parties of potential competition concerns in five Nordic/Baltic markets, relating to both debt collection and debt purchasing in each market

* Says parties have therefore proposed a divestment of Lindorff’s entire business in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden as well as Intrum Justitia’s entire business in Norway

* Intrum shareholders approved its acquisition of Lindorff late last year, following last-minute revisions to the initial deal

* Says combined group would have pro-forma EBITDA, excluding impact of synergies and non-recurring items, of about SEK 5.0 billion for 2016, of which an estimated 12%-13% derives from five units proposed to be divested

* Says units proposed to be divested account for an estimated 30 percent of annual cost synergies forecast for the combination of Intrum Justitia and Lindorff

* Says we expect a final decision from European Commission no later than June 12 2017 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Olof Swahnberg and Niklas Pollard; Editing by Helena Soderpalm)

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