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Investor AB kills off U.S. venture capital program

Dec 12, 2013

Sweden's Investor AB has pulled the plug on its U.S. venture capital and growth equity program, Fortune has learned.

The program in question is Investor Growth Capital, which has invested more than $3 billion into over 250 technology and healthcare companies since being founded in 1996. Most of that activity has been in the U.S., where its deals have include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (jazz), MedImmune, Guavus and Rocket Lawyer.

"Investor AB decided back in January that it no longer wanted to focus on VC deals in the U.S.," says a source familiar with the situation. "There was some talk of the team trying to raise a fund from third parties, but it didn't ultimately happen. Going forward, Investor AB wants its U.S. deals to look like most of the deals it does in Europe, which means control-focused private equity rather than minority investments in expansion-stage companies."

Investor AB's website currently lists 15 investment professionals in New York and Menlo Park, but only five of them will stay on board to manage out an active portfolio of around 45 companies. Among those leaving are managing directors Guarav Aggarwal, Philip Dur and Albert Kim.

The firm is expected to continue making pro rata investments in follow-on rounds, and seems to have little interest in selling any of its positions on the secondary market.

Investor AB has not responded to a request for comment.

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