Building companies well positioned for the future
EQT invests in good companies across the world with a mission to help them develop into great and sustainable companies. By providing access to ownership skills and operational expertise, EQT can help portfolio companies grow and prosper, both under EQT’ownership and with future owners.
The portfolio companies develop through the implementation of strategies geared towards growth and operational excellence. Sales growth and margin expansion are achieved through multiple strategies, including geographic expansion, new products, acquisitions and strategic re-orientation.
EQT has a track record of consistent and attractive returns across geographies, sectors and strategies. EQT does this by making a real difference: over the years, EQT has, on average, grown the portfolio companies per year by: 7 % employee growth, 12 % revenue growth and 13 % EBITDA growth. This reflects average annual development in EQT’portfolio companies since inception, includes both historical and active funds (excludes Credit, Ventures and Real Estate funds).
The EQT Playbook is a key element of EQT’s active ownership model and includes tools focused on driving growth and developing portfolio companies through digitalization, sustainability and operational excellence. The EQT Playbook is used across EQT’s strategies to future-proof companies and make a positive impact.
1. Thematic and sector-based approach
EQT applies a thematic mindset in deal sourcing. Guided by underlying macro trends, EQT targets high-quality companies with significant sustainable growth potential in attractive industries with secular growth drivers and strong downside protection.
The thematic approach is combined with deep sector expertise. Within the identified sectors, EQT sources investment opportunities in market-leading companies with good prospects for future growth and operational improvements.
Investing alongside macro trends puts EQT in a position where we can be part of the solution to significant challenges of our time. EQT targets the sectors where EQT’s expertise can make a change. Applying the thematic and sector-based approach allows EQT to make a positive impact while exercising active ownership. Investment themes and sectors are regularly reviewed.
Key themes: Automation, Big data, Digitalization, E-commerce, Sustainability, Urbanization, Aging population, Connectivity
Private Capital: Healthcare, Technology, Tech-enabled services, Industrial businesses
Real Assets: Social infrastructure,Telecommunications, Energy, Transport & Logistics, Environmental infrastructure
EQT believes that local knowledge, local business relationships and local presence are all critical to securing a competitive edge in private markets. This includes access to local deal flow, being a preferred partner for management teams and ultimately winning deals. This local approach has resulted in close, long-term relationships between EQT, private owners and companies. EQT’s geographical presence in Europe, the US and APAC allow the investment organization to combine extensive local knowledge and cultural understanding with deep global sector expertise. A majority of EQT’s investments to date have been made in geographies where EQT has a local presence.
3. House of value creation
EQT AB Group applies an integrated framework of tools and best practices across its business segments to support value creation and performance in EQT funds’ portfolio companies. The framework includes value creation levers and tools, such as revenue enhancements, management changes, pricing, cost improvements and more transformational levers such as strategic realignment and add-on acquisitions.
Shortly after acquisition, portfolio companies develop full potential plans to execute on set targets. The portfolio companies are continuously evaluated against their set plans.
EQT carries out institutionalized periodic performance reviews, which provide an owner’s forum for high level and forward-looking discussions on value creation. The forum sets perspectives and ensures performance drive, including exit.
4. Governance model
EQT’s governance model is designed to enable accountability, promote fast decision-making and empower EQT’s portfolio companies’ CEOs, while also allowing for informal free thinking and limiting internal politics.
The model is built upon clear roles and responsibilities for the management of the portfolio company, its board and the EQT AB Group. It is underpinned by a TROIKA forum that enables smooth communication, transparency and efficient governance.
The TROIKA consists of the portfolio company’s Chairperson (typically appointed from the EQT Network), a responsible advisory partner at EQT and the portfolio company’s CEO. Working closely together, the TROIKA is a sparring partner to the CEO and keeps EQT well-informed of the performance in the portfolio company. This informal forum also creates a good relationship among the involved parties and helps to drive value creation in an aligned and effective way.
Through participation programs, the board and select management team members are invited to invest in the portfolio company, creating a joint agenda and common goals.
5. EQT Network
Since its foundation, EQT has built a global network of advisors with a variety of backgrounds, including entrepreneurs and current or former executives of major international corporations. Many of these relationships have evolved from EQT’s connection to the Wallenberg sphere and its global network that spans across industries and sectors. The EQT Network is continuously renewed and expanded, and EQT believes that it provides the Group with a competitive advantage across business segments. The advisors in the EQT Network add operational and strategic expertise as well as experience to the portfolio companies. The advisors are engaged in the entire investment process from providing strategic advice on initial deal sourcing and assessment of potential investments, to joining the boards of portfolio companies.
Leveraging world-class industrial expertise has always been a part of EQT’s DNA and this approach is even more vital in the digital era. Those who cannot adapt to the increased pace of technological disruption will be left behind. Exploiting digital opportunities is a critical element of future-proofing both EQT AB Group itself, as well as the portfolio companies.
EQT aims to support all portfolio companies in driving digital transformation and developing into digital leaders in their respective industries. To achieve this, EQT has made significant investments into its own digital teams, infrastructure and capabilities over the last several years. One of EQT’s prioritized digital missions is to continuously make each EQT fund an ever-smarter buyer, owner and seller.
EQT looks to apply industry-specific and best-in-class digital approaches and tools throughout every stage of an EQT funds’ investment cycle, from the sourcing of deals through, for example, the proprietary AI platform Motherbrain, to the due diligence of potential opportunities and the support in improvement of the portfolio companies. EQT’s Digital Framework provides the Fund Management team with support in value creation and drives cross-portfolio initiatives on topics such as cybersecurity.
EQT is committed to future-proofing companies and making a positive impact with everything it does. This will ensure that EQT stays successful and relevant for its investors and society as a whole for the long-term.
EQT aims to promote a mindset and culture that delivers a positive impact. It does this by focusing on what matters, linking to value creation and leveraging the entrepreneurial approach of EQT’s Investment Advisory Teams and the EQT Network. In advising and supporting the Fund Management team, these teams make sure that sustainability is considered and assessed during investment sourcing and due diligence, and is also continuously monitored.
EQT strives to scale solutions with a positive societal impact and instill sustainable practices in all companies EQT invests in, from start-ups to mature companies. EQT applies responsible investment and ownership principles and practices throughout the investment cycle. This extends from thematic sourcing and focused sustainability due diligence to acceleration of positive impact as an owner. An essential part of EQT’s value creation, exercised through the governance model, is the appointment of the board of directors of the portfolio companies.This allows EQT to accelerate portfolio companies’ positive societal impact, sustainability performance and disclosure practices by setting clear expectations and providing strategic guidance.
EQT’s Responsible Investment & Ownership (RI&O) Policy describes EQT’s view on sustainability. The policy is aligned with key international conventions and standards, including the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.
The portfolio companies adhere to the EQT RI&O Policy as well as the EQT Sustainability Blueprint which articulates the sustainability expectations, expressed in a set of KPIs, which portfolio companies are to report on annually. EQT assesses each portfolio company’s maturity against these expectations to track their journey and performance over the ownership period.