Investor ups stake in B-business Partners

The Swedish holding company has paid E188m for 90 per cent of ABB’s shares and capital commitments in the venture capitalist.

Investor, the Swedish holding company, has bought out partner firm ABB from their joint venture capital business B-business Partners. Investor has agreed to pay E188m for 90 per cent of ABB’s shares and capital commitments, increasing its share of paid in capital to 75 per cent.

Under the terms of the deal, the net cash effect of the transaction on Investor is E25m. Investor said the deal improves its position in the European venture capital market. For AAB, selling was part of a strategy aimed at freeing it up to concentrate on its core power and automation business.

B-business partners, founded in March 2000 to finance business to business start-ups, has around E60m invested in a portfolio of ten B2B companies. It has E725m worth of commitments from its shareholders, which includeAstraZeneca, Ericsson, Saab Aerospace, and Sandvik. E550m of this is a commitment from Investor.

A spokesperson for Investor said investment opportunities in the B2B sector did not present themselves as anticipated. Consequently some capital was being returned to investors, he said.

ABB retains a small stake in the business and its CEO Jorgen Centerman will remain on B-Business’s board of directors.