Swedish investment company Kinnevik cut its stake in Tele2 Group to below 20 per cent after selling SEK6.1 billion ($618 million) worth of shares to institutional investors in response to what it branded an uncertain market.

In a statement Kinnevik announced it had sold a 7.2 per cent stake in Tele2 and committed to lock-up period preventing it reducing its remaining 19.8 per cent for 120 days.

The deals were agreed yesterday (24 May) and are expected to be settled by the end of the week.

Kinnevik remains Tele2’s largest shareholder, based on figures currently declared on the operator’s website.

The document, which does not yet include these transactions, places BlackRock as its second-largest backer with a 6.5 per cent holding. No other party is above 2.5 per cent.

Kinnevik explained the sale as providing “additional financial strength at a time of market uncertainty”.

It added the proceeds would allow it to focus on “deploying more capital into our most promising companies and investing in new opportunities that meet our investment criteria”.