Auditor and chairman silent on CageEye’s spectacular €120 million valuation

Aslak Berge

The high-flying start-up company’s full-year 2019 results is now auditor-approved.

Last Sunday, SalmonBusiness was able to report the financial statements of the start-up company CageEye, based on material sent out to the company’s shareholders. On Monday morning, the Oslo-based company issued a press release calling it “official financial statements.”

However, these financial statements are still not registered in Norway.

The auditor for CageEye is Amund P. Amundsen, partner at Ernst & Young, based in Trondheim. According to Amundsen, the financial statements for CageEye are now auditor approved.

“It should be, but if it’s submitted I don’t know,” he said.

In connection with the acquisition of NorseAqua, for NOK 57.5 million (EUR 5.2 million), the settlement was largely in CageEye shares. How much interest does former owner Lars Berg-Hansen have in CageEye after this?

“You need to check this with the company. I don’t have these numbers in front of me,” Amundsen replied.

Both CEO Bendik Søvegjarto and communications manager Marloes Eshuis have also been presented this, with this and several other questions, but they have not responded.

Nor is CageEye’s chairman Ivar Strand particularly talkable. Strand previously worked as a business developer for SalMar founder Gustav Witzøe’s investment company Kverva.

“Hey, I’m a little busy now. Can I call you back?” replied Strand when SalmonBusiness called.

EUR 91 million
Five hours later, Strand still hasn’t called back. He also doesn’t answer the phone when SalmonBusiness calls again. After pressing on Berg-Hansen’s ownership by text message, Strand finally replied:

“It’ll be good if you take all the questions directly with the communications manager in Bluegrove/CageEye to the extent that they can be answered :-)”.

Read more: High-tech companies react to being targeted by CageEye: “This is outrageous”

According to the business finder site, Lars Berg-Hansen’s investment company Grip Sjansen Invest owns 2.999 per-cent of CageEye’s outstanding shares. Taking into account that a smaller and currently unknown share of the settlement was in cash, this implies a valuation of well over EUR 100 million for CageEye. That is in line with the company’s own valuation of EUR 120 million.

How is it possible to value CageEye, which had a turnover of EUR 0.4 million and lost much more than that in 2019, to EUR 120 million?

Amund P. Amundsen, of Ernst & Young, is an accountant for CageEye. Photo: LinkedIn

“I don’t have the numbers you mention in front of me. The type of question you need to bring the company. We will make a statement about the company’s financial statements through the audit report,” Amundsen explained.

But you’re an accountant for the company. And when the company has taken advantage of this valuation in acquisitions, with settlement in shares, both impairment tests and write-down evaluations should be done?

“I don’t have the numbers you mention in front of me, but we do write-down assessments on a general basis. Also in the implementation of acquisitions of other parties with settlement in shares, we shall make valuations and assessments of write-downs. I can’t comment on this, since I don’t have the numbers in front of me. But as an accountant, we do such actions, yes,” Amundsen said.

Lars Berg-Hansen did not wish to comment on the sale price and settlement for 100 per-cent of the shares in NorseAqua.

“It’s information I’m not allowed to share,” he texted in a message to SalmonBusiness.


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