(Adds Industrivarden CEO comments, background)
Oct 6 (Reuters) - Industrivarden’s CEO Helena Stjernholm said the top priority in the investment group’s underperforming holdings was to “bring order” but remained mum about the ongoing process to recruit a new chief for hard-hit Ericsson.
* Industrivarden holds big stakes in Swedish blue-chips such as Ericsson, truckmaker Volvo, engineering firm Sandvik, banking group Handelsbanken and hygiene products firm SCA.
* Industrivarden owns shares equal to around 15 pct of votes in Ericsson, which has been struggling for years and sacked its CEO in July.
* Industrivarden CEO Helena Stjernholm declined to comment on process to recruit a new Ericsson CEO and view on future strategy for the mobile telecoms gear maker.
* Business daily Dagens Industri said earlier this week that Ericsson’s board, where Stjernholm has a seat, is close to making a decision on a new CEO.
* Stjernholm, asked about Industrivardens patience with underperforming holdings, says: “The first priority is to bring order where we think there is further potential.””Over time I think there will be changes, not only within the companies, but also in our portfolio. But we should do that in a sensible way in that case. That’s something that we will have to evaluate over time.”
* Stjernholm, asked if Industrivarden is still committed long-term to its Ericsson holding, says: “We a long-term asset management strategy in general, which I think is very good. So we continue to work on creating value in the companies we have. But even if you have a long-term strategy you need to look at different time horizons on what to do to build competitive companies, and also create value.”
* Stjernholm, asked about progress with Industrivarden’s fresh strategy to also invest in smaller-sized listed Nordic companies, says: “We have a small group of people including myself working actively on that. If we look at midcap companies I feel that if we find the right opportunity, we could act today.”
* Industrivarden’s growth in net asset value was 14 pct in the Jan-Sept period, including reinvested dividends, compared with 6 pct for the Stockholm Stock Exchange’s return index. Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)