Several major Swedish and Danish pension funds have increased their investments in unlisted Swedish lithium-ion battery manufacturer Northolt in its latest capital-raising round.

Northvolt announced this morning that it had raised $1.1bn (€1.1bn) in convertible notes to finance its expansion of battery cell and cathode material production in Europe to meet the fast-growing demand for batteries.

Denmark’s largest pension fund ATP said it has invested DKK400m (€53.8m) in the capital raising, while Swedish occupational pension fund AMF said it had invested SEK310m (€28.7m), and pensions and insurance provider Folksam revealed a SEK850m investment.

Swedish national pension buffer funds AP1-4 also invested in the debt-to-equity notes, Northvolt said, via the funds’ co-owned company 4 to 1 Investments.

Several large asset managers including Baillie Gifford and Goldman Sachs Asset Management are also named as having participated, as well as the Volkswagen Group.

ATP, AMF, Folksam and AP1-4 have all invested in Northvolt before, and ATP said its total investment in the company was now about DKK1.9bn.

Martin Præstegaard, ATP’s new chief executive officer, said: “Sustainability is central to our way of thinking about investments, and Northvolt has already shown itself to be a fantastic business for our members.” 

Præstegaard said the Swedish firm was world-leading in its battery-recycling work as well as its efforts to use green electricity in the manufacturing process, and it also had a full order book.

Meanwhile, AMF said it had previously invested just over SEK1.1bn in the company and that following the new issue, it still owned approximately 3% of the shares in Northvolt.

“We invested early in the company, and have been impressed by how fast it has grown and developed,” said Anders Oscarsson, head of equities and responsible ownership at AMF. The company had manufactured the first battery before the turn of the year, and the first commercial delivery took place during the spring, he said.

Explaining the surge in demand for the battery maker’s products, Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, said: “The combination of political decision making, customers committing even more firmly to the transition to electric vehicles, and a very rapid rise in consumer demand for cleaner products, has created a perfect storm for electrification.”

Read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine