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Carlson Wagonlit buys Ark stake

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has announced that its acquisition of a majority stake in Ark Travel AB (ARKT) is complete. Ark Travel is a Swedish travel management company whose shares are publicly traded on Aktietorget, a Swedish market for trading in non-listed securities.

The offer to purchase shares of Ark Travel at a price of SEK 67 per share was originally announced on October 22, 2007, through the wholly owned CWT Swedish subsidiary CWT Sverige Holdings AB.  As of today, CWT controls approximately four million shares of Ark Travel, representing 98 percent of the total number of shares and votes in Ark Travel. The acquisition was approved by the Swedish Competition Authority on November 30, 2007.

Jan Willem Dekker, executive vice president, North Europe, for CWT said, “Over the last few years, Carlson Wagonlit Travel has successfully pursued an acquisition strategy that brings the right people and processes together to best service our clients’ travel management needs. Ark Travel has successfully established itself as a major travel management company in Sweden. Our two companies have similar corporate cultures and operating philosophies. Employees are client-focused and continuously striving for excellence. I’m excited to be bringing our talents and expertise together.”

Ark managing director Susanna Bervå added, “By teaming up with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Ark Travel will be in a position to bring even greater value to our clients. CWT is a global leader with best-in-class products and solutions. Both of our companies are service-oriented, innovative and in tune with the rapid changes that characterize our industry. I am eager for the integration process to be underway.”

With the acquisition of its majority stake now completed, CWT Sverige Holdings AB intends to call for compulsory redemption of the remaining Ark Travel shares and take the appropriate steps to have them delisted from Aktietorget.