EQT progresses public equities plan

The division was launched in April with a view to taking minority positions in publicly listed, mid-cap companies in Northern Europe.

EQT is set to begin fundraising for its new public equity investment arm, Private Equity International understands.

The Scandinavian firm registered EQT Public Value Fund in Luxembourg on 26 June, according to public filings. It launched the unit in April with a view to taking minority positions in publicly listed, mid-cap companies in northern Europe.

EQT declined to comment on fundraising and it is unclear how much the firm will target.

EQT Public Value was formed in collaboration with public equity investor Zeres Capital and is led by partners Fredrik Atting and Joakim Rubin, the latter of whom founded Zeres. It is expected to work privately with listed company boards to create value and bolster sustainability over a long-term holding period.

The strategy echoes that of Cevian Capital, a neighbour of EQT’s in Stockholm. Cevian manages more than €13 billion dedicated to active ownership investing in Europe, with its long-term capital base provided largely by pension funds, endowments, foundations and sovereign wealth funds. Its current investment fund, Cevian Capital II, was launched in 2006 and is an evergreen vehicle, according to its website.

Advent International also does something similar. It launched subsidiary Sunley House Capital Management in 2014, which employs a private-equity approach to a global portfolio of public investments. Northern Europe-focused Triton Partners is seeking third-party capital for an open-ended fund that takes minority positions in publicly-listed companies, PEI reported in March 2017.

When EQT launched into real estate with a €420 million commingled vehicle last year, it did so with “strong backing” from its parent – Swedish family office Investor AB – as well as its own partners, according to a statement at the time. EQT’s latest €10.75 billion fundraise for Fund VIII saw the firm target a greater proportion of pensions and sovereign wealth funds, while reducing its relationships with insurance companies and other financial companies, head of investor relations Jussi Saarinen told PEI last month.

Northern European equities have enjoyed steady growth in recent years. The Nasdaq Nordic 120 Gross Index – comprising the 120 largest of the 150 most traded shares in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo – had grown more than 150 percent at opening on 28 June from its lowest point in 2011. The FTSE 100 also rose more than 40 percent over this period.