EQT increases partners’ independence

EQT, a Scandinavian buyout firm, has taken majority control of its management company after founding shareholder Investor announced that it had sold a 36% share in the firm.

Partners at EQT, which made an earlier than expected return to the market with a €4.25bn fifth fund late last year after quickly investing its €2.5bn vintage 2004 EQT IV vehicle, paid SKr290m (€31.2m) to increase their ownership of the advisory company from 33% to 69%, with Investor holding the balance. The transaction is subject to approval by Investor shareholders at an AGM at the end of March.

Investor, which is 44% owned by Sweden’s Wallenberg family, founded EQT in 1994 and has since been the largest backer in all of its funds, which include the five buyout funds as well three regional funds for smaller investments, Asia and China-focused funds and a mezzanine vehicle.

EQT currently manages more than €10.5bn of capital and said that the change in structure would not affect Investor’s existing terms of agreements regarding the funds it has committed to. However, Investor has already been scaling back its allocations as EQT’s funds have increased in size, from 32% of EQT III to just 12% of EQT V.

Last year, EQT reported turnover of SKr348m and after tax of SKr33m. It has more than 120 employees and the latest transaction values the firm at about SKr806m.