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Cevian on Buying Spree, Discloses 5% Stake in Smith & Nephew

Report: Systematic Strategies

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Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – Swedish activist investor Cevian Capital has disclosed a five percent stake in UK medical device manufacturer Smith & Nephew, signaling intentions to drive operational improvements after years of share price underperformance.

“Cevian sees the potential to create significant long-term value by improving the operating performance of the company’s businesses,” says Friederike Helfer, a Partner at Cevian, as reported by Bloomberg. Smith & Nephew said in a statement that the firm had “an open dialogue with our shareholders and will continue to engage with Cevian, as we do with all of our shareholders.”

“Cevian sees the potential to create significant long-term value by improving the operating performance of the company’s businesses.”

Friederike Helfer, Partner at Cevian Capital.

Smith & Nephew has seen its share price decline by nearly 40 percent over the past five years. The company has been implementing a turnaround strategy called the “12-point plan” to strengthen its orthopedics business, improve productivity, and accelerate growth in its already well-performing segments. Following the disclosure of Cevian Capital’s stake of 43.9 million shares or 5.02 percent of outstanding shares, the share price of Smith & Nephew jumped close to seven percent.

Cevian Capital, known for its measured and behind-the-scenes approach to activist investing, employs a strategy of “constructive activism” by focusing on a select dozen companies at a time. Founded by Christer Gardell and Lars Förberg, Cevian has offices in Stockholm, London, and near Zurich. The Swedish activist investor also holds minority stakes in Swiss engineering group ABB, Swiss insurer Baloise Holding AG, UBS, Ericsson AB, SKF AB, and Pearson Plc.

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Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun serves as a data analyst responsible for maintaining and gatekeeping the Nordic Hedge Index, and as a journalist covering the Nordic hedge fund industry for HedgeNordic. Eugeniu completed his Master’s degree at the Stockholm School of Economics in 2018. Write to Eugeniu Guzun at eugene@hedgenordic.com

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