The Lundbeck Foundation, which is the majority shareholder of Danish pharmaceutical companies Lundbeck and ALK (previously ALK Abello, Ed), has announced that it will use the financial crisis to invest DKK 2bn (USD 350m) in a healthcare company in the Nordic region as well as invest DKK 400m (USD 69.7m) in minority shareholdings in biotech companies, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen.
The financial crisis has made a number of companies less costly to acquire, while making it more difficult for capital funds to operate as aggressive company buyers since financing of debt has become an expensive business when capital markets are short of money.
Steen Hemmingsen, MD of the Lundbeck Foundation says: "We feel that in this environment of difficult financing conditions, it is probably sensible timing. We do not have a single krone of debt, so with our balance we will have some opportunities in the coming year or two."
The aim of the investment is to gain a controlling stake as a long-term investor in a Nordic company. The Lundbeck Foundation's investment company LFI owns 70% of the shares and votes in Lundbeck, and 37% of the shares and 65% of the votes in ALK. In addition to these investments, the Foundation has DKK 11bn (USD 1.9 bn) in capital, which is managed externally via investments in securities.
"We would like to take some of this money and try to invest more directly," comments Hemmingsen, who emphasises that the Foundation is in no hurry, but is ready to wait until the right company comes along.
"It must be something that is reasonably connected with our current work. It does not have to be pharmaceuticals, but preferably in healthcare," says the MD.
The Lundbeck Foundation's new strategy is in line with Novo A/S, the majority shareholder of Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, which recently announced that it is doubling its investments because the financial crisis is creating new opportunities for favourable investments.