In another move to recapitalise domestic businesses hit by the coronavirus-triggered economic slump, Sweden’s second-largest pension fund has invested SEK114.5m (€10.8m) in a capital placement deal for brake-component maker Haldex.

AMF, which manages SEK600bn of pension assets for blue-collar workers, announced it had provided the lion’s share of a new directed equity issue of around SEK157m, with its money buying a holding of just under 6.6% in the auto supplier – a new investment for AMF.

Anders Oscarsson, head of equities at AMF, said: “In view of the fact that it is a challenging time for many companies, we are excited about the opportunity to become a major owner of a fine Swedish company such as Haldex.”

As new owners of the company, he said AMF already had a strong commitment to the heavy vehicle sector, where as a subcontractor Haldex played an important role.

“We look forward to being a long-term, constructive and active owner of the company,” Oscarsson said.

Tomas Flodén, the pension fund’s chief investment officer, said that thanks to AMF’s strong financial position and the long-term nature of its traditional pensions management, the fund could invest in companies in need of capital to be able to get through the challenging economic situation.

Haldex announced yesterday that it had agreed a financial package with its lenders, which included extending the maturity of a €90m syndicated credit facility and an SEK270m short-term loan to April 2022.

That agreement also stipulated that the company be provided with new equity, it said.

The other investor subscribing to the directed capital placement is AFA Försäkring.

The new shares have been issued at SEK35.56 per share, which Haldex said corresponded to the volume-weighted average price of its share on Nasdaq Stockholm during the last five trading days prior to a resolution by the board at the end of 2019 to issue new shares.

Today, the shares were trading at around SEK37.35, according to Nasdaq data.

Haldex said in its announcement of the capital placement that it was deviating from the shareholders’ preferential rights in the new share issue because, “the situation following from COVID-19 has reinforced the need to carry out the capital raising in a time-efficient manner”.

It said it intended to use the issue proceeds mainly to finance “continued value-creating investments in new technology”.

AMF said in early April that it had earmarked up to SEK5bn as a first step in supporting the Nordic country’s commerce through the COVID-19 crisis.

As part of that pledge, the pension fund has said it committed to a significant portion of Scandic Hotels’ SEK1.75bn equity issue at the end of last month.

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