Sweden’s EQT set to shift funds onshore

EQT, the Swedish private equity business with €18bn in committed capital, is reportedly considering shifting the management of its funds to onshore European domiciles following clarification of EU regulation.

EQT cites further clarification of the regulations around alternative investment management and managers as the reason for its move.

This means future funds are likely to be managed out of the UK, Netherlands, or Luxembourg.

However, this does not affect current funds such as the EQT III, IV, V, VI, Greater China II, Expansion Capital I & II, Opportunity, Danmark, Finland, Infrastructure and Credit.

EQT’s website claims it runs 14 private equity funds involved in buyouts, financing and infrastructure, with more than €10bn invested in some 100 companies.

Conni Jonsson, managing partner, was reported last year suggesting that the company might opt for a so-called “Channel Islands solution”.

There are also domestic pressures on private equity and venture capital firms in Sweden following the move by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) for more back taxes to be paid by Björn Savén, chairman of private equity firm IK Investment Partners, formerly known as Industri Kapital. This tax case, which affects those with rights to participate in profit sharing at IK, was directly cited by Savén when he resigned his position on the board of Nordea in late December 2011.

“It has been interesting and rewarding since 2006 to be a member of the board of the largest Nordic bank. However, in light of the decision made in respect of IK in connection with the Swedish tax authorities’ review of the venture capital sector, I have chosen to focus on my tasks at IK,” he said at the time.

Swedish finance minister Anders Borg is said to be keen for tighter legal restrictions around the use of allowances to reduce tax on profit made by venture capitalists.

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