Lars P. S. Sperre appointed as CEO of Norske Skog

Photo: Norske Skog

The board of directors has unanimously appointed Lars P. S. Sperre as interim President and CEO of Norske Skogindustrier ASA with immediate effect. Sperre has been employed by Norske Skogindustrier ASA since 2006 and been member of the corporate management team since 2014. Prior to this appointment, Sperre acted as Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy & Legal.

Sven Ombudstvedt has notified the board of directors that he resigns as President and CEO of Norske Skogindustrier ASA. The board of directors has relieved Ombudstvedt from his duties, and the resignation will therefore take effect immediately.

- An unanimous board supports the appointment. Lars is the natural candidate to the role as interim President and CEO. He knows the industry well and has been highly involved in the group's restructuring and financing processes during recent years, in addition to being instrumental in the development of the current strategy, says chairman of the board Henrik A. Christensen.

 - I am very motivated to accept this challenge. Norske Skog has many skilled employees with high competences and drive. I am certain that we together will solve the challenges and bring the potential of the group to fruition. Norske Skog's operations and cash flow are good, the debt level is, however, too high and too much cash flow is consumed by interest payments instead of being reinvested in the group, says Lars P. S. Sperre, interim President and CEO of Norske Skog.

Lars P. S. Sperre received a law degree from the University of Bergen, Norway, in 2002. Sperre previously worked as a lawyer at Wikborg Rein law firm from 2004 to 2006. Sperre has through his various roles at Norske Skog during the last 10 years acquired extensive knowledge of cost reduction activities, financing, restructuring processes and business transactions. - The board is very pleased with Lars accepting this challenge. We will together with the management team seamlessly continue the work to find the best refinancing solution for the group, further develop Norske Skog's competitive and solid asset portfolio, in addition to realising the group's growth initiatives. Norske Skog has high debt, but positive cash flow and no bond maturities before December 2019, says chairman of the board Henrik A. Christensen.