Three major Nordic pension funds have backed a $1bn (€886m) capital raising for Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt, led by Goldman Sachs and Volkswagen.Sweden’s AMF and Denmark’s ATP announced investments of SEK740m (€69m) and DKK650m (€87m) respectively in the start-up company, which said it would use the equity to “enable Europe’s first homegrown gigafactories for lithium-ion batteries”.Folksam, the Swedish pensions and insurance group, said it put SEK200m into the company via the capital raising.With debt financing to be provided by the European Investment Bank and other lenders, Northvolt said funding was in place to set up the initial 16 gigawatt hours of lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing capacity at its Northvolt Ett factory. Construction of the the factory in Skellefteå in north-east Sweden was due to start in August, with production scheduled to begin in 2021, it said.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# An artist’s impression of the Northvolt Ett factoryUlrik Weuder, head of alternative investments at ATP, said: “With the investment in Northvolt, we can be involved in promoting the development of a green car industry and create a good return for our members – that is a match we really like.”He said the car industry was undergoing a transformation and both the development of and demand for electric cars was rising strongly, which increased the need for lithium batteries.Weuder said that, with the local hydro-electric power plant providing electricity for Northvolt’s battery production, the CO2 burden of the development was being significantly reduced.Tomas Flodén, AMF’s CIO, said the pension fund aimed to be a long-term owner of Northvolt, after taking a 5% stake. “It feels particularly good to be part of a Swedish industrial investment of this size,” he said. “The investment has the potential to be good not only for our savers, but also for Sweden at large.”Michael Kjeller, Folksam’s CIO, added: “The investment will yield profits economically, environmentally as well as for the local community.”Folksam said the investment would be divided equally within the group between the life and pensions arm Folksam Liv, non-life arm Folksam Sak and the pension fund KPA.Other investors in Northvolt included German carmaker BMW and the IMAS Foundation, a sister foundation to the INGKA Foundation, the indirect owner of IKEA.
(REUTERS) – Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has banned Markus Kattner, a former leading official in the Zurich organisation, for 10 years and has fined him one million Swiss francs ($1.06M) after a probe into bonus payments.“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Markus Kattner, former FIFA Deputy Secretary General and Acting Secretary General, guilty of conflicts of interest and having abused his position, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” FIFA said in a statement yesterday.“The investigation into Mr Kattner covered various charges concerning bonus payments in relation to FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials (including Mr Kattner), various amendments to and extensions of employment contracts, reimbursement of private legal costs, and Mr Kattner’s duties as an official.”FIFA said in June, 2016, that an internal investigation revealed that Kattner, FIFA’s former Secretary General Jerome Valcke and the organisation’s ex-President Sepp Blatter had received 79 million Swiss francs ($81M) in compensation over five years, calling them “massive payouts”.Blatter, who led FIFA from 1998 until 2015, was banned from football for six years in February 2016, while Valcke is banned until 2028.The 45-year-old Kattner, who holds German and Swiss citizenship, joined FIFA as Director of Finance in 2003 and four years later became Deputy Secretary General.He became Acting Secretary General in September 2015, after the departure of Valcke, but was then fired in May 2016.According to the Ethics Committee’s final judgement, Kattner argued that the ethics process against him had not been fair and that he did not grant any bonus payments either to himself or to anyone else in the top management.The official can appeal the FIFA ban to the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.