Wallenberg Family – The Most Influential Family in Sweden

by Alex

These days I am in process of writing my final paper (theses). The theme I work on is "family business". In my work I need to give examples of big family business or privately held companies. So, today I found impressive information, that will defiantly go to my diploma.

It is about one family in Sweden which controls major businesses in a country.

As of December 31, 2001, the core holdings of Investor and the Wallenberg Foundations
included the second largest commercial bank in Sweden, SEB, controlling almost 38% of
the votes at the shareholders´ meetings.

Moreover, the holdings included 15 of Sweden’s best known telecom and engineering firms,
such as (share of group voting rights in brackets) L.M. Ericsson (38.7%), Scania (19.5%),
Atlas Copco (21.4%), SKF (27.5%), Electrolux (22.4%) and the Finnish-Swedish forest
company Stora Enso (24.5%)

The Wallenberg family’s private fortune is relatively small, amounting to less than a billion
SEK. Their ability to control major Swedish firms is based on the pyramid like ownership
positions of the Wallenberg foundations. For example, together with Handelsbanken,
Sweden’s largest commercial bank and its holding company, Industrivärden, the Wallenberg
family controls the telephone giant, L.M. Ericsson. Together these two principal owners
own barely 10% of Ericsson’s outstanding shares. Thanks to the sharply differentiated
voting rights between the two existing classes of shares, however, they can exercise
comfortable control, being able to mobilize over 80% of the votes at the share holder

Together with Wallenbers in Sweden there are some more well-known rocking family owned business:

Persson family – H&M
Hans and Gaud Rausing – Tetra Laval
Ingvar Kamprad – IKEA