September 10, 2018 / 2:40 PM / 9 months ago

EQT Partners looks to bolster balance sheet, IPO an option

STOCKHOLM, Sept 10 (Reuters) - EQT Partners, the Nordic region’s largest private equity firm, is assessing options to strengthen its balance sheet, which a source said included a potential listing.

“We are continuously looking at ways of future-proofing EQT and have decided to review options to further strengthen EQT’s balance sheet,” EQT chief executive Thomas von Koch said in a statement on Monday.

EQT declined to give further specifics about the review.

A person familiar with the matter said one of the options was an initial public offering, but stressed the deliberations were at a very early stage.

Sweden’s EQT has raised around 50 billion euros ($58.02 billion) since it was founded nearly 25 years ago. It has grown rapidly in recent years, adding three new investment areas, Ventures, Real Estate and Public Value, since 2014.

“We need a stronger balance sheet to support EQT’s continued global growth and make us resilient to weather tougher times”, von Koch added.

EQT’s portfolio includes Swedish firms such as pest control firm Anticimex, as well as German companies including prosthetics maker Ottobock and hearing aid maker Sivantos.

EQT Partners was founded in part by Investor AB, the main investment vehicle of the prominent Wallenberg Swedish business family. Investor AB is still the anchor investor in EQT’s funds, owning around 10 percent of its more recent funds. ($1 = 0.8618 euros) (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom and Arno Schuetze Editing by Alexander Smith)

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