September 18, 2018 / 9:02 AM / a year ago

Schibsted to spin off international online classifieds in IPO

OSLO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Media group Schibsted will spin off its international online classified ads operations in an initial public offering, the Norwegian company said on Tuesday, sending its shares surging more than 10 percent.

While the existing firm will keep the Nordic classifieds units and the company’s newspapers, the new entity - preliminarily named MPI - will have international operations in countries including Germany, France, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand.

“MPI will be one of the global leaders in online classifieds, fully equipped to achieve long-term growth with high-profit margins,” Schibsted said.

MPI will be headed by Schibsted Chief Executive Rolv Erik Ryssdal, while Kristin Skogen Lund, head of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, will take the helm at the old company.

Schibsted will maintain a majority stake in the new firm at the time of the listing, which is expected to take place in the first half of 2019. It said it plans to remain a significant owner over the long term.

Schibsted’s ‘A’ shares were up 11.3 percent at 330.9 Norwegian crowns at 0833 GMT while its ‘B’ shares were up 14.4 percent at 306.5 crowns. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Camilla Knudsen; editing by Jason Neely)

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