Owing to the economic turbulence that has been created by the current pandemic, many companies are having a very tough time right now. The Swedish government has implemented a long list of support measures to help them weather the crisis, and SEB and other banks are at the same time doing their utmost to help their customers with loans, advice and other support. Major investors such as AMF have also injected new equity into companies through new share issues.
Many of these measures are aimed above all at alleviating the companies’ liquidity problems and will not be sufficient. As the crisis continues, a large number of companies will also need to inject more equity. It is this need that spurred the idea behind Sindre Invest AB, a jointly owned joint-venture company created by SEB, AMF and FAM together with the Wallenberg Foundations. Looking ahead, we see a large need among well-managed and vital unlisted Swedish companies to strengthen their balance sheets with additional equity, and we now want to support these companies through the crisis with the help of private equity.
Sindre will invest in medium-sized Swedish companies that were successful before the crisis and that are expected to be so again once the economy has returned to a more normal situation. It is expected that Sindre will invest mainly in unlisted private and family-owned companies that do not have access to the stock market. The target group is companies with at least 250 employees and annual sales of more than SEK 300m.
Sindre will acquire minority positions in the selected companies, with the express goal that the existing owners will be able to buy out Sindre’s ownership stake after the crisis. The plan is to invest between SEK 50m and SEK 400m per company in the form of subordinated venture capital – either stock or debt. The idea is that the investments will have a term of three to five years and that as a company Sindre, will operate for a total of ten years. Sindre will invest at market terms that reflect the companies’ risk and assessed potential.
AMF will invest SEK 2bn in Sindre. SEB will invest SEK 1bn, of which SEB Pension & Försäkring SEK 100m, and will also contribute with staff and expertise. FAM and the three largest Wallenberg Foundations will together invest SEK 500m, of which FAM SEK 400m.
“The situation we are encountering is that many companies are trying to get through this with the help of government support programmes and debt relief. This will work for a period of time, but our assessment is that many companies will need more venture capital to survive and weather the crisis. The aim of Sindre is to form a bridge from now to a better future,” comments Jan Amethier, who is leaving SEB to serve as CEO of the new, standalone company.
“I am very happy that we together with like-minded partners can gear up in an impactful way and broaden our work with investing in vital Swedish companies that are in need of capital to make it through the economic crisis we are currently in. We believe it is good for our savers, good for the companies, and also good for Sweden as a whole,” comments Johan Sidenmark, CEO of AMF.
Håkan Buskhe, CEO of FAM, comments: “The investment in Sindre gives us an opportunity to help give companies with sound business models the financial conditions to make it through a difficult period.”
Sindre will be a standalone company with a board made up of one representative from each of the three parties plus a chairman who is independent from the parties. Birgitta Stymne Göransson, who is Chairman of the Board of Industrifonden and BCB Medical, among other companies, has been appointed for this role.
The company will also have an investment committee made up of experienced persons from the business and finance world. These will be recruited by Sindre’s owners based on valuable competencies, but are not employed by the owners. To get started quickly (the company will be up and running and able to invest starting on 1 July), Sindre will hire staff from SEB with relevant experience from investments, credit management, and with a broad background in equity and debt financing.
For more information, or for interviews with Sindre’s CEO Jan Amethier, AMF’s CEO Johan Sidenmark, or FAM’s CEO Håkan Buskhe, please contact:
Head of Corporate Communication, SEB
+46 (0)8 763 99 47
Press Manager, AMF
+46 (0)8 696 30 85
Press Manager, FAM and Wallenberg Foundations
+46 (0)73 515 22 61
SEB is a leading Nordic financial services group with a strong belief that entrepreneurial minds and innovative companies are key in creating a better world. SEB takes a long term perspective and supports its customers in good times and bad. In Sweden and the Baltic countries, SEB offers financial advice and a wide range of financial services. In Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom, the bank's operations have a strong focus on corporate and investment banking based on a full-service offering to corporate and institutional clients. The international nature of SEB's business is reflected in its presence in some 20 countries worldwide. On March 31, 2020, the Group's total assets amounted to SEK 3,286 billion while its assets under management totalled SEK 1,758 billion. The Group has around 15,000 employees. Read more about SEB at https://www.sebgroup.com.