SWEDEN – Andra AP-fonden, the Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2 will set its 3.5% stake in Skandia, saying it lacks confidence in new owner Old Mutual.
The move comes just over a month after the fund said it was coordinating minority shareholders’ resistance to Old Mutual’s €5bn hostile bid.
“Since the Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2 lacks confidence in Old Mutual’s leadership and ability to make the most of Skandia’s intrinsic qualities, the Fund sees no reason to retain its interest in Skandia,” the government buffer fund said today.
“During the negotiations concerning Skandia’s future, it has also been made abundantly clear that Old Mutual has no intention of addressing the interests of minority shareholders to any reasonable extent.”
It also cited “inadequate protection of the minority rights” of shareholders in Swedish insurance companies as a contributory factor. AP2 will no longer be represented on Skandia’s election committee.
“An independent Skandia, with an unchanged business strategy, has been the Fund’s consistent objective in the drawn-out battle for control of the company,” said AP2’s chief investment officer Petter Odhnoff.
An Old Mutual spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters that it didn’t want to get involved in “rhetoric” and that it was busy getting on with realizing Skandia's potential.
Old Mutual last month declared its offer wholly unconditional after receiving 72.3% acceptances.