Altor domiciles fund onshore for PR reasons

The Nordic-focused firm has launched the fund in Sweden after negative media attention around tax planning and offshore tax havens in Sweden.

Altor has domiciled its latest €2 billion fund in Sweden for public relations reasons, according to a spokesperson for the firm. The firm's previous funds had all been domiciled in Jersey.

“Discussions and media attention around tax planning and offshore tax havens are not very productive. We would rather spend our time and effort on developing successful companies together with strong management teams and successful entrepreneurs,” Harald Mix, a partner at Altor said.

“Private equity as a governance model represents a larger share of the overall economy in the Nordics than in most other regions in Europe. Providing increased transparency and adopting to a regulated environment will hopefully create a better overall understanding and knowledge of private equity as a successful ownership model,” he added.

Last year EQT Partners also moved its funds onshore. It also changed its corporate structure to become more open and transparent, the firm said at the time.

Private equity’s image in Sweden has suffered in recent years and continues to be a subject of public debate as the country prepares for a general election in September.

Last month, EQT’s managing partner Thomas von Koch said the sector needs to do “a better job of explaining the good of the industry by being more open and transparent … Frankly, we should all reflect on why the industry has such a bad reputation,” he told delegates at the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA) conference in Vienna. “In order to keep our license to operate, we need to move from being pure investors to being company owners [that contribute to] society as a whole. We need to further align our interest with our stakeholders. That will create sustainable superior [companies] and create trust.”

In July last year some of the country’s firms, including EQT, Altor, Nordic Capital and IK Investment Partners, teamed up with the Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (SVCA) to establish a code of conduct for the industry in an attempt to make private equity more transparent. The code will lay out how GPs should behave as company owners. The rules will relate to employees of portfolio companies, labor unions and transparency, as well as environmental, social and governance issues (ESG).