April 24, 2020 / 6:59 AM / a month ago

Swedish buyout group EQT says pandemic could slow fundraising

STOCKHOLM, April 24 (Reuters) - Swedish private equity firm EQT said on Friday that the novel coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the wider economy could slow fundraising and delay asset sales.

The company, which was listed in September, said in its first-quarter report that the impact on EQT from the rapidly spreading disease would depend on how and when markets emerged from recent turmoil and stabilised.

“Given today’s environment, fundraisings can take longer, exits are less likely and the overall investment activity is currently lower. Revenues are expected to be impacted as carry is dependent on exits and increases in unrealized values,” EQT Chief Executive Christian Sinding said in the report.

EQT said investments by its funds had totalled 1.8 billion euros ($1.94 billion) in the first quarter and that its portfolio of assets, while impacted by the pandemic, remained “relatively robust.”

“Furthermore, based on our experience from previous crises, the portfolio companies have prepared for a potential downturn and even though the magnitude of COVID-19 was unpredictable, having contingency plans in place is helping the companies respond faster,” it said.

EQT has raised more than 62 billion euros in capital since it opened for business 25 years ago. It currently has about 40 billion euros in assets under management across 19 funds. ($1 = 0.9297 euros) (Reporting by Niklas Pollard; editing by Johannes Hellstrom)

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