Investor AB increases its ownership in
b-business partners by acquiring shares from ABB

Stockholm, January 4, 2002: Investor AB has increased its position in b-business partners, a pan-European venture capital company, by acquiring 90 percent of ABB’s shares and capital commitments. As a result of the transaction, ABB received EURO 188 million (US$ 166 million). Investor's share of paid in capital and future commitments will now be approximately 75 percent.

This transaction is in line with Investor AB’s strategy to further strengthen its position in the European venture capital market, and ABB’s strategy of focusing on its core businesses in power and automation technologies.

In addition, the Supervisory Board and management of b-business partners determined it can at present achieve its investment objectives using less capital than when it was founded. This is due to companies today requiring less capital to carry out their business plans and because they have lower valuations. b-business partners has therefore temporarily reduced the paid in capital of all its shareholders. The positive net cash effect on Investor AB of the transactions is EURO 25 million.

The total capital commitment to b-business partners is EURO 728 million, of which Investor represents approximately EURO 550 million. b-business partners' paid in capital, after the above transactions, is approximately EURO 270 million, of which Investor has contributed approximately EURO 200 million. The remainder will be drawn down as necessary to fund future investments.

b-business partners is a venture capital company with an international network of experience and competence in industry and finance. b-business partners shareholders are: Investor AB, ABB, SEB, AstraZeneca, Atlas Copco, Electrolux, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Saab Aerospace, Sandvik, SKF, Stora Enso and WM-data.
b-business partners has invested approximately EURO 60 million and has a portfolio of ten companies.


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