Hired in an interim CFO to gain control of the economy

SF Kino is a company that is in the news. Recently, Ivar Halstvedt, the company’s CEO launched plans to build Oslo's largest cinema complex with its own IMAX auditorium. But mergers and acquisitions make their demands, and having used consultants without any particular success, he hired in an interim manager.

Ivar Halstvedt is described by colleagues as a strong leader who has meant a lot to the Norwegian cinema industry through the various roles he has had over many years. Among other things, he was the first to initiate a nationwide cinema chain and he built the world's first fully digital cinema, Ringen, in Oslo in 2008. The last six months have, however, been characterised by shouldering responsible for implementing major changes in SF Kino.

Mergers and acquisitions

Until 2013, the parent company, SF Bio, was owned by the Bonnier family, which merged with Ratos, which then ended up with 60 per cent of the shares in what was transformed into Scandinavia's largest cinema company, Nordic Cinema Group.

"That year, we strengthened our position even further by acquiring 49 per cent of Bergen Kino. But at the same time, the burden due to the implementation of change processes weakened our financial management. We hired consultants from well-known consultancy companies, but there were many cooks spoiling the broth and invoices were being received at in increasing pace. When we came to the New Year, I consulted with the Chairman of the Board, then I put my foot down and sent the consultants packing”, says Halstvedt.

Replaced consultants with an interim manager

Having conferred with his deputy, Cecilie Trøan Kjelsaas, who had been an interim manager previously, he contacted InterimLeder’s Tor Hansen. The plan was to hire a CFO on a temporary basis for a period of up to nine months.

“We had some specific criteria. We had to have a senior staff member who understood Swedish and Norwegian accounting legislation and had updated IFRS expertise. At the same time, we wanted a person with experience in working with Ratos.”

InterimLeder provided information of this assignment to its network of more than 1,400 interim leaders. And after only 2 to 3 weeks the candidate had been selected and was at his desk in the head office at Wergelandsveien 21 A, Oslo.

The reporting quality improves month by month

InterimLeder were professional and effective, and our new interim CFO has done a great job. Every month, the quality of our reporting has improved and we have sorted out a lot. I look forward to being presented with good procedures and routines that can be used by a permanent staff when he completes his assignment in the autumn”, Halstvedt concludes. 

SF Kino AS is one of the country’s largest cinema companies, operating cinemas in 8 Norwegian towns. It is part of the Nordic Cinema Group, the Nordic area’s largest cinema group. 30 million people visit its cinemas in 7 countries in the Nordic area and in the Baltic States every year.

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