Kinnevik AB

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Kinnevik AB
Traded as Nasdaq StockholmKINV B
Industry Investment
Founded 1936; 81 years ago (1936)
Founders Hugo Stenbeck
Wilhelm Klingspor
Robert Von Horn
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Key people
Cristina Stenbeck
(Principal Owner)
Tom Boardman (Chairman)
Joakim Andersson
(Acting CEO, CFO)
Number of employees
80,000 (2016)

Kinnevik AB (Swedish pronunciation: [ɕɪnɛˈviːk]) is a Swedish investment company that was founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families.[1]

Kinnevik is an active and long-term owner and its investments are made primarily in technology-based services aimed at consumers.[2]

Kinnevik holds significant stakes in about 30 companies operating across five continents in more than 80 countries, with a particular focus on growth markets. The largest holdings are Zalando, Millicom, Tele2, Global Fashion Group and MTG.[3]

Kinnevik’s largest shareholder is Verdere S.á.r.l., which is jointly owned by Cristina Stenbeck and the Estate of Max Stenbeck.[3]


Kinnevik was founded as an investment company in 1936 by Robert von Horn, Wilhelm Klingspor and Hugo Stenbeck. The most important holdings when the company started were Mellersta Sveriges Lantbruks AB, Lidköpings Konfektyr Industri AB and Korsnäs Sågverks AB. The company grew quickly through share purchases and acquisitions of companies that included chocolate manufacturers Nordiska Suchard and Halmstads Järnverk.[4]

The company’s aggressive acquisition strategy of Swedish industrial companies continued during Kinnevik’s first decades. The ownership structure of the investment company changed as Hugo Stenbeck gradually increased his holdings.[5]

Kinnevik became a listed company and obtained additional capital in a new share issue in 1954. The first shares in Sandvikens Järnverk were purchased a few years after entering the stock market. Hugo Stenbeck replaced Wilhelm Klingspor as chairman of Kinnevik in the early 1960s. Shortly thereafter, Hugo Stenbeck’s oldest son, Hugo Stenbeck Jr, became managing director of the company.[6]

Hugo Stenbeck Jr died in 1976 and his younger brother, Jan Hugo Stenbeck, joined Kinnevik’s management team. Hugo Stenbeck Sr died in 1977.[5]

The shareholding in Sandvik AB increased steadily during the late 1970s, while Kinnevik increased its position in Fagersta AB. A major holding in the insurance company Atlantica was acquired in 1978.[6]

Several auto companies were acquired in 1980 and were gathered under the name Svenska Motor AB. This included the import and sales of Toyota vehicles.[5]

In the early 1980s, Comvik AB launched a new mobile telephony system and after a number of legal battles with state-owned Televerket, gained a favourable ruling by The Supreme Administrative Court. In 1985, a satellite system for television distribution was completed and during the late 1980s the battle intensified with the state-owned monopolies in telecommunications, television and radio. TV3 sent its premier broadcast from London on New Year’s Eve 1987. Comvik obtained authorisation to start a new mobile telephony network in 1989.[5][7] Millicom International Cellular was formed the following year.[8]

The first Kinnevik-run radio broadcasts began in 1991. During the same year, Kinnevik became the largest owner in newly established TV4 with a 20 percent shareholding. The free newspaper Metro International was launched in 1995 and the concept later spread rapidly throughout the world.[5]

In 2001, the telecommunications operator Netcom changed its name to Tele2.[9] Jan Hugo Stenbeck died on 19 August 2002 and was replaced by Edvard von Horn as chairman. Pehr G. Gyllenhammar became chairman in 2004 and was replaced three years later by Cristina Stenbeck.[9]

Between 2005 and 2010, there was a major shift in the shareholdings in which ownership in Millicom increased and forestry shares decreased. Invik was sold to the Icelandic investment company Milestone.[9]

At this time, the foundation was laid for investments in a number of internet businesses, particularly e-commerce companies. This profile was strengthened after 2010 with major investments in Rocket Internet, Zalando, Avito and Global Fashion Group, among others.[10]

In 2016, Kinnevik stepped off the board of Rocket Internet, citing concerns over potential conflicts of interest.[11]

Significant holdings[edit]

At year-end 2016, Kinnevik’s Net Asset Value amounted to SEK 72.4 billion. The largest holdings are (value corresponds to Kinnevik’s ownership in SEK billions[3]):

Company Value in billions (SEK)
Zalando 27
Millicom 15
Tele2 11
Global Fashion Group 6
Rocket Internet 4
Modern Times Group 4

Kinnevik divides its operations into the following areas: E-Commerce & Marketplaces, Communication, Entertainment, Financial Services and Healthcare & Other.


Per 31 December 2016[3]

Company Percent of capital Percent of votes
Verdere S.á.r.l. 10.7 44.0
Klingspor family 3.4 11.3
von Horn family 0.9 3.3
Baillie Gifford 5.4 2.3
Alecta 2.8 2.3
Swedbank Robur 4.0 1.7
Thornburg 0.3 1.2
Morgan Stanley 0.3 1.2
AMF 2.6 1.1
Nordea 2.4 1.0

Recent news[edit]

  • In September 2014, two Kinnevik-backed companies, Rocket Internet and Zalando, made their Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.[12]
  • In April 2014, Kinnevik announced that it had picked former Goldman Sachs banker Lorenzo Grabau as its CEO following Mia Brunell departure from the position in January that year.[13]
  • In October 2015, Avito was sold to the South African media conglomerate Naspers.[14]
  • In February 2016, Kinnevik invested in London's Babylon Health alongside Hoxton Ventures and the founders of Google DeepMind.[15]
  • In March 2016, Cristina Stenbeck announced her intention to step down as chairman of Kinnevik and was replaced at the 2016 AGM by Tom Boardman. Cristina Stenbeck remains a board director of Kinnevik.[16]


  1. ^ "E Hugo Stenbeck" (Press release). Riksarkivet. 
  2. ^ "Förändring den bästa långsiktiga strategin" (Press release). SVD Naringsliv. 26 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Kinnevik Annual Report - Financial Statement" (PDF). 2015. 
  4. ^ "Entreprenör" (Press release). Z Story. 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Carlsson, Bengt (2011). Tre familjer – En historia. Brombergs Bokförlag AB. 
  6. ^ a b Andersson, Per (2012). Stenbeck - En biografi över en framgångsrik affärsman. Modernista Group AB. 
  7. ^ "Comviq: Background" (Press release). 
  8. ^ "Millicom International looks to invest in Ivory Coast" (Press release). Biztech Africa. 7 December 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c "Netcom byter namn till Tele2" (Press release). Affarsvarlden. 19 January 2001. 
  10. ^ "Djärvare än Jan" (Press release). Fokus. 24 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Kinnevik representatives to leave Rocket Internet board". Reuters. 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  12. ^ "" (Press release). 3 October 2014.  External link in |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Sweden's Kinnevik names ex-Goldman banker Grabau as CEO" (Press release). Reuters. 7 April 2014. 
  14. ^ ChrisSpillane, Ilya Khrennikov Christopher Spillane. "Naspers Takes Control of Russia's Avito in $1.2 Billion Purchase". Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  15. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Cristina Stenbeck steps down from Kinnevik, Millicom chairs". Reuters. 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 

External links[edit]