Nordea Bank Abp’s largest shareholder, Finnish investment company Sampo Oyj, may consider selling its stake in the bank in the coming years, Swedish daily Dagens Industri reported.
Sampo is testing the water ahead of a potential sale, which could happen within the next two years, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources.
Sampo, which also owns the Sweden-based insurance company If, as well as almost half of Danish insurer Topdanmark A/S, holds 19.9% of Nordea’s outstanding shares. That makes it by far the largest shareholder in the bank, ahead of activist investor Cevian Capital, which has built a 4.4% stake since making its first purchases late 2018.
Since Torbjorn Magnusson took over as chief executive officer in January, Sampo has been led by executives with a background in the insurance industry, and a Nordea divestment could be attractive as a way to further increase its focus on that industry. Sampo agreed to buy a majority stake in the U.K. non-life insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc in August, and said the deal was “a step in the strategy to allocate more capital to property and casualty insurance.”
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