Teacher’s (OTPP) Acquires a 75% Stake in Helly Hansen

Altor Fund II (“Altor”) has signed an agreement to sell a majority stake in Helly Hansen Group AS to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (“OTPP”) and will retain 25 percent ownership.

Altor Fund II (“Altor”) has signed an agreement to sell a majority stake in Helly Hansen Group AS to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board (“OTPP”) and will retain 25 percent ownership. Headquartered in Norway, Helly Hansen designs, develops, and markets stylish and high-performance technical apparel. Helly Hansen currently operates three divisions: Sport Wholesale, Sport Retail, and Workwear. In 2011, the company had revenues of NOK 1,576 million.

Since Altor's acquisition in 2006, Helly Hansen has improved profitability from loss making to industry-leading margins. The company has expanded its geographic footprint and developed new product categories, leading to double digit growth in recent years and significantly outperforming the market. To focus the business on Sport and Workwear, the professional business, mainly providing helicopter transportation suits, was sold to Montagu Private Equity in 2011.

“Our people at Helly Hansen have worked very hard to rebuild its position as one of the world's leading outdoor brands. We are proud of what Helly Hansen has become, and excited about where we can take it going forward. Getting OTPP on board as majority owners will provide us with expertise, global relationships and financial resources to further grow the company, especially in North America. Our ambition to become ‘a billion dollar brand' remains and our current trading is stronger than ever," says Peter Sjölander, CEO of Helly Hansen Group.

“Helly Hansen is part of our Norwegian heritage, and it has been a privilege to work with the company over the last 6 years, seeing the brand reconnect with its roots, the product portfolio improving every season and the operation develop into one of a world class apparel company. Helly Hansen is now well positioned to leverage its 135 year history for continued growth," says Hugo Maurstad, chairman of Helly Hansen Group AS and partner at Altor Equity Partners.

“Helly Hansen has been a good investment for Altor and we believe that the positive momentum will continue and that we will experience continued growth in the years to come. The company has a strong platform, a clear strategy and a strong management team. Altor is very happy to continue with ownership and involvement together with OTPP, says Reynir Indahl, board member of Helly Hansen Group AS and Partner at Altor Equity Partners.

"Helly Hansen is an iconic brand with a long heritage and a strong commitment to innovation and design. We see excellent opportunities to continue growing revenues and international awareness outside the core European markets,” said Jo Taylor, TPC vice- president and head of Teachers' London office. “Management has a clear and compelling vision for the business and we look forward to supporting their efforts to build a global success story.”

For additional information please contact:
Peter Sjölander
CEO Helly Hansen Group AS
Tel +47 911 95 350

Hugo Maurstad
Chairman of the board of directors of Helly Hansen Group AS
Tel +47 901 04 308

Deborah Allan
Director of Communications and Media Relations
OTTP+1 (416) 730-5347

About Helly Hansen
Helly Hansen is the global leader in protecting and enabling professionals whose work and adventures put them into the harshest elements on earth. The Oslo, Norway-based company is recognized for manufacturing waterproof fabrics back in 1877, the first PropileTM fleece mid layers in the 1960s, and LIFA®, the first technical base layer in the 1970s. The combined three-layer system of dress has become the reliable standard for staying warm, dry and comfortable in cold, wet conditions. Today, Helly Hansen is a global leader in technical apparel and footwear designs for a range of outdoor and water-sport activities. Further information can be found at www.hellyhansen.com.

About OTPP
With $117.1 billion in assets as of December 31, 2011, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada. An independent organization, it invests the pension fund's assets and administers the pensions of 300,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario. For more information visit www.otpp.com.

About Altor
The Altor Funds are private equity funds, consisting of the “Altor 2003 Fund”, which has committed capital of EUR 650 million, “Altor Fund II”, which has committed capital of EUR 1,150 million, and “Altor Fund III”, which has committed capital of EUR 2,000 million. The Altor Funds are advised by Altor Equity Partners. The Altor Funds invest in Nordic businesses, committed to creating value through growth, strategic development and operational improvements. Since being founded in 2003, the Altor Funds have made more than 30 platform investments and more than 35 strategic add-on acquisitions. Current and former companies of the Altor Fund portfolio include Lindorff, AGR, Constructor, Eltek, Elixia, Navico, Byggmax, Norsk Gjenvinning and SPT Group. For more information, go to www.altor.com.