EUROPE - Skandia's unit-linked pensions business in Sweden and Denmark is changing its ownership structure, as Old Mutual sells its Nordic business.

The international financial institution Old Mutual announced the sale of its Nordic business, Skandia AB - which includes Old Mutual's operations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway - to Swedish company Skandia Liv for £2.1bn (€2.5bn).

Once the acquisition has gone through, Skandia Liv will take steps toward mutualisation, the Swedish company said.

At the moment, Skandia Liv is a subsidiary of Old Mutual, but under strict conditions that prevent distribution of profits to the owner.

Businesses included in Skandia AB include the Nordic unit-linked pensions business Skandia Link, Skandiabanken and Skandia Lifeline (health insurance).

Skandia's traditional with-profits guaranteed pension scheme in the Nordic region already belongs to Skandia Liv.

Gunnar Palme, chairman of the board at Skandia Liv, said the acquisition of Skandia AB would create a focused, customer-owned company.

"The investment is strategically important for Skandia Liv, with the ultimate objective of creating value for our policyholders," he said.

"The transaction creates value in two ways, both through an expected attractive return on the investment and through synergies."

When the deal is completed, Old Mutual will retain the Skandia brand outside Sweden, Denmark and Norway, while Skandia Liv will own and continue to use the brand within those three countries, Old Mutual said.

Meanwhile, Denmark's Industriens Pension is among investors committing funds to a third technology venture capital fund run by Sunstone Capital, which has raised a total of DKK625m (€84.1m) in pledged investment.

The Danish investment firm said the fund aims to invest in as many as 25 technology businesses with global ambitions.

Sunstone Capital said: "The new technology fund means that, in the course of the next five years, Sunstone Capital will broaden its investment in start-up businesses in the software, web services, e-trade, gaming and mobile technology sectors."

It aims to attract capital pledges of DKK750m in 2012, it said.

Investors include Industriens Pension, the European Investment Fund, Dansk Vækstkapital - the private venture capital fund backed by Danish pension funds - and Danish state investment fund Vækstfonden.