Sweden's Kinnevik to add two to four companies a year to portfolio

STOCKHOLM, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Swedish investment company Kinnevik expects to add two to four companies a year to its portfolio but maintain the total number of firms at around 30, its boss said on Thursday.

Kinnevik is pursuing a strategy of increasing its exposure to private Nordic companies as well as digital businesses such as Swedish telecoms company Tele2 and online fashion retailer Zalando.

Chief Executive Georgi Ganev told investors and journalists that the firm would aim for 15-25% stakes, and stressed it continued to be interested in the telecoms and media, e-commerce, financial services and healthcare sectors.

“We will add two to four companies per year between 2020 and 2023, spread across our focus sectors,” Ganev told a capital markets day in Stockholm.

“With our ambition to maintain a portfolio of around 30 companies ... That means we are aiming to exit about as many companies as we add.”

He said that two-thirds of the capital accrued from divestitures would go on new investments. He did not say what businesses he might exit.

Kinnevik said earlier this week that it would hand out its 37.2% stake in telecoms operator Millicom, a cable and mobile operator in Latin America and Africa, to shareholders.

Ganev said that Swedish telecoms group Tele2 and Germany-based Zalando were still important to the portfolio, and that Tele2’s merger with Com Hem had exceeded expectations in strengthening the company.

“For us Tele2 is a perfect fit in our portfolio, he said, adding that Zalando was the jewel in the growth portfolio, with “immense” market opportunities.

Founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families, Kinnevik owns a 32% in Zalando and a 40% stake in Global Fashion Group, another online fashion player.

It also holds stakes in tech startups like payments group Qliro and online classified platform Quikr. (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Pravin Char)