By Dominic Chopping
The Chinese owner of Volvo Cars has increased its holding in Denmark's Saxo Bank and is now the controlling shareholder, while Finnish insurer Sampo PLC (SAMPO.HE) has bought a near-20% stake in the group, the companies said Monday.
Geely Financials Denmark AS, a subsidiary of Volvo Cars-owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., has increased its stake in Saxo to 51.5%, having bought 30% of the company in May, as it looks to expand into the financial services sector and deliver synergies from developing financial services both within Geely Group and the wider Chinese market.
"We at Geely Group believe that Saxo Bank's technologies and product value can be effectively expanded across the Asian region, which is why we are willing to offer to buy more shares in Saxo Bank," Geely Group Chief Financial Officer Daniel Donghui Li said in a statement.
"Over the past decade Saxo Bank has developed a strong reputation in global financial and regulatory technology, which we hope to strengthen in the Asia region in the coming years."
Sampo said it will acquire a 19.9% stake in Saxo for 265 million euros ($313 million) and Chief Executive Kari Stadigh highlighted that the multi-asset trading and investment firm "offers great potential globally for white labeling to financial institutions, investors and family offices."
The two companies are buying the shares from U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital and Indonesian conglomerate SinarMas, who are selling their entire stakes of 29.26% and 9.9% respectively. Saxo Bank co-founder and Chief Executive Kim Fournais will retain his 25.71% stake.
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Saxo Bank employs over 1,500 people globally, offering trading and investment technologies, tools and strategies. Its trading platform allows private clients to trade multiple asset classes while also providing institutional clients with multi-asset execution, prime brokerage services and trading technology. In August it posted a 45% rise in first-half profit to 229 million Danish kroner ($36.3 million) with clients' collateral deposits rising to DKK98.3 billion.
The deal is expected to complete within the next six months, subject to regulatory approvals.
-Write to Dominic Chopping at firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @domchopping @WSJNordics