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IPE special report May 2018

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AP2 coordinating Skandia resistance

SWEDEN – The Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2 is coordinating the activities of large minority shareholders against Old Mutual’s bid for Skandia.

The fund, which has 3.5% of Skandia, has issued a set of demands regarding board composition.

“If the amount of the current offer is not increased, the proportion of minority shareholders in Skandia will be significant,” Andra AP-fonden said.

AP2 is coordinating the negotiations to “ensure that clients of both Skandia and Skandia Liv shall continue to retain full confidence in these two companies and to enable minority shareholders to participate positively in Skandia’s ongoing development”.

It is calling for no less than three of Skandia’s eight board members to be nominated by the minority shareholders.

And it wants shareholders to be provided with “complete data” on all future transactions between Old Mutual and Skandia, with decisions being subject to approval by 90% of the votes at a general meeting.

AP2 is also demanding that shareholders “shall be provided with complete data on all significant future structural changes in Skandia” – with these decisions also subject to the 90% approval.

“In the current situation, it is important to all minority shareholders, foreign and domestic institutional investors and small shareholders that the ground rules are clearly established,” said AP2’s chief investment officer Petter Odhnoff.

Old Mutual spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment.

Last month Old Mutual announced that its bid for Skandia had 62.5% of shareholder approval. Skandia reckons the offer is “inadequate”.

AP2’s new chief executive Eva Halvarsson – a former official with the Swedish Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications – takes up her post next month.

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