November 3, 2015 / 9:07 AM / 2 years ago

SCA sells stake in top owner Industrivarden

STOCKHOLM, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Swedish forestry and hygiene products company SCA said on Tuesday it had sold its entire stake in its biggest owner and one of Sweden's most influential investment companies, Industrivarden.

SCA said in a statement it had sold its entire holding in Industrivarden of 4.3 percent of votes and 2.8 percent of capital to Swedish institutions and investors for 169 crowns per share, equalling 2 billion Swedish crowns ($234 million).

"We have had these shares for quite some time and we thought this was a suitable time to sell them," SCA Chief Executive Magnus Groth told Reuters.

"We are not an investment company and it is not part of our core business to invest in other companies."

The Industrivarden sphere of companies, which includes Volvo , Ericsson, Sandvik and Handelsbanken, is partly linked through cross-ownership which has been criticised by some Swedish pension funds for creating an opaque structure.

The sale unwinds one of these links. SCA's pension funds retain their ownership in Industrivarden of in total 7.9 percent of shares.

A spending scandal early this year centred around SCA resulted in a revamp of several boards within the Industrivarden sphere and the resignation of both Industrivarden's chairman and Groth's predecessor at the helm of SCA.

Business magnate Fredrik Lundberg took over as chairman of Industrivarden in the wake of the controversy and his holding company, Lundbergforetagen, said separately it had purchased 5 million A shares in Industrivarden. ($1 = 8.5311 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard and Sven Nordenstam)

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