Chairman’s comments 2016: Progress and investments – heading for a new role

Sigrun Hjelmqvist

Fouriertransform’s portfolio made positive progress in 2016. Within the framework of its mandate, the company continued to develop its role as a complementary market investor while also preparing for the changed role ahead.

Fouriertransform’s Board remained unchanged during the year. The Board consists of six ordinary members, Richard Reinius, Charlotte Rydin, Jan Bengtsson, Hasse Johansson, Ulf Berg and the undersigned, who were all re-elected by the Annual General Meeting 2016. The Board’s work during the year was characterized by continuity, business integrity and responsiveness to our new assignment.

HEADING FOR A NEW ROLE

As a result of previous reviews of Sweden’s government sponsored venture capital activities, Saminvest AB, a company wholly owned by the Swedish government, was established in the year. The company was incorporated on July 1, 2016 following a parliamentary decision. Saminvest will invest indirectly in businesses through privately managed funds, adopting what is termed a fund-of-fund strategy. The decision also means that from 2017 onwards, Fouriertransform AB will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saminvest AB and will cease to make new investments.

In September, Fouriertransform received a new owner instruction indicating that the company, to the required extent and within the framework of existing operations, will participate in establishing the new venture capital structure resulting from parliamentary authorization to the government (proposal 2015/16:110, 2015/16:NU23, bill 2015/16:295).

This kind of change always elicits additional challenges. Fouriertransform’s staff and management have managed daily operations in an exemplary manner while simultaneously preparing for the transition to the future role.

At an earlier stage, as soon as the purpose of the restructuring of Sweden’s government-sponsored venture capital became known in early 2016, Fouriertransform’s Board and management conducted an overall review of operations. Within the framework of the existing Articles of Association, Fouriertransform presented clear goals regarding the capital, quality and exit horizon of the company portfolio to be handed over, with the aim of making an optimum contribution to the new state-sponsored venture capital structure.
 
In 2016, Fouriertransform completed a number of business-motivated divestments and contributed to achieving market listing for a number of portfolio companies, with the aim of generating value-creating exits. Fouriertransform also made follow-on investments to secure value growth and realize the portfolio’s exit plans, as well as making a new investment expected to generate significant benefits for the new government-sponsored venture capital structure.

SUSTAINABLE VALUE CREATION

Fouriertransform’s mission remained unchanged in 2016: to invest in, or finance, companies in the automotive industry and associated service sectors that carry out research, development or investments with the aim of commercialization. This mandate, complemented by the new owner instruction in September has formed the basis of operations in 2016.

Fouriertransform’s focus remains sustainable value creation, which also forms part of Fouriertransform’s mission. We make demands on, and provide support to, our portfolio companies in order to minimize risk and exploit new opportunities in a world facing climate change and other challenges. The Board of Directors monitors this work with interest and commitment.

Fouriertransform’s new role as a subsidiary of government-owned fund-of-fund company Saminvest AB will result in significant operational changes as the company will no longer be making new investments. However, the task of engendering responsible and sustainable value growth in the existing portfolio stands..

Sigrun Hjelmquist
Chairman of the board