Corporate Governance in Modern Financial Capitalism
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Corporate Governance in Modern Financial Capitalism

Old Mutual’s Hostile Takeover of Skandia

Markus Kallifatides, Sophie Nachemson-Ekwall and Sven-Erik Sjöstrand

This insightful book focuses upon corporate governance processes, and explores the conditions required for effective corporate governance and control in 21st century globalized and financialized economies. In presenting a comprehensive study of a cross-border hostile corporate take-over process, describing the actors, institutions and events involved, this book examines and questions the current forms of corporate governance and control – both from a national and a global perspective. Using Old Mutual’s takeover of Skandia as a case study, the authors address corporate governance theory, and highlight its two fundamental dimensions: financial and operational flows.
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Chapter 17: Trying to Keep Skandia Independent

Markus Kallifatides, Sophie Nachemson-Ekwall and Sven-Erik Sjöstrand


ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND THE SWEDISH AP FUNDS The deal opposition continued to grow. Leading Swedish business actors discussed Skandia’s future standing among themselves, and with advisers, analysts, journalists, politicians and so on. A kind of social movement arose, composed of loosely coupled business people who all tried to persuade the larger Swedish retail and pension funds that had shareholdings in Skandia to turn down Old Mutual’s bid. Sven-Eric Österberg, deputy minister of finance in Sweden’s Social Democratic government (and who had a particular responsibility for the financial markets and pension funds) also carefully monitored what happened in and around Skandia. Österberg had been a member of parliament since the mid-1990s, and had been mostly engaged on its finance committee. He had also been involved in the reformation of the Swedish pension system and the remodelling of the four AP funds in the 1990s. Österberg had debated many times with Lars-Erik Forsgårdh of the Swedish Shareholders’ Association and Göran Johnsson, chair of the Metalworkers’ Union, in an attempt to get the four fund chairs to come up with a suggestion for how to reform the funds’ investment policies in order to become more ‘long-term’. The deputy finance minister liked the idea of AP funds becoming substantial stakeholders in Swedish blue chips. He said in a press comment in the spring of 2005 that it would be preferable if the AP funds were allowed to increase their stake in a single company, above the currently stipulated 10 per cent.1...

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