The two major shareholders in L M Ericsson Telefon AB of Stockholm, Sweden, are jockeying for position, and following a move by Svenska Handelsbanken to increase its holding of voting shares to 38% from 35.5% two weeks ago, the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation has bought 324,000 more Ericsson Ashares – worth $23m at current prices – to take its holding to 37.5% from 28.9%. The two major shareholders have effectively controlled Ericsson for 30 years, and according to the Wall Street Journal, both insist that nothing in the way of a power struggle should be read into the recent transactions, and that no major changes are in view at the company. Ericsson’s A shares carry one vote each, but the much more widely-held B shares carry only one thousandth of a vote; it has 33.2m B shares outstanding, but only 3.73m of the voting A shares.
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