abstract gears
abstract gears


Cevian’s strategy is to be a long-term and focused investor, and to use proactive, hands-on ownership to help make its portfolio companies better and more valuable.

Cevian’s strategy is unchanged since it was developed by its founders more than 25 years ago. At that time, they already saw a vacuum of ownership plaguing most European listed-companies. We believe this vacuum of ownership has worsened since then, due to an increase in short-term, computer-driven, and macro-focused investing, as well as the growing share of the market owned by passive investors with thousands of companies in their portfolios.

Investment approach

Cevian typically acquires substantial minority ownership positions in European-listed companies that, according to Cevian’s analysis:

  • have leading market positions,
  • produce strong cashflows,
  • benefit from robust long-term demand dynamics,

and are overlooked, misunderstood or out-of-favor with investors. These companies usually have sound operational performance, though Cevian sees substantial room for improvement and value creation. In Cevian’s experience, this value-creation potential is typically not reflected in companies’ share prices.

After acquiring an ownership stake, Cevian works with the boards and management teams of those companies to advance initiatives designed to increase their long-term competitiveness, profitability and sustainability. These normally focus on improving operations, corporate strategy, organizational structure, financial management, corporate governance and sustainability more broadly.

This work is designed to create real long-term value that benefits all shareholders and other stakeholders.

Cevian’s own team members have joined the boards and/or nominating committees of c. 75% of all disclosed portfolio companies since Cevian’s founding in 2002, reflecting Cevian’s constructive, hands-on and long-term approach.

Cevian manages a concentrated portfolio of ownership positions in c. 10-15 publicly-listed companies at a time. Cevian is commonly the largest or the second largest owner of its portfolio companies, and often remains invested in companies for 5+ years. Cevian’s optimal investment size is EUR 500m to EUR 1.5 billion per company, though larger investments are not excluded.

Investment process

Prior to investing, Cevian works to develop a deep understanding of prospective portfolio companies’ long-term fundamentals and competitive strengths and weaknesses vs. leading peers. In each case, Cevian forms a clear view of value-creation potential, and develops a detailed value-creation plan.

Cevian’s investment and ownership work is underpinned by a well-established, rigorous and proprietary fundamental research process, including comprehensive operational, commercial, financial, legal, governance and broader sustainability analysis. Diligence includes detailed business-by-business benchmarking against main peers, and frequently includes more than 100 research touchpoints. It is common that companies are followed for many years prior to an investment. As a result, Cevian has a large case library of companies and relationships that it believes is of significant value in its investment and ownership work.