In the 1980s, VBG Group's founder Herman Krefting formed three foundations to which he transferred a large proportion of shares in order to ensure the continued development of VBG Group and to provide job-security for employees. The foundations became the principal owners of VBG Group.
The largest – both in terms of shareholding and votes – is Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research. The other two, the SLK Employees' Foundation and the Foundation VBG-SLK, have a smaller shareholding but significant voting rights as all Series A shares are owned by the foundations.
Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research
Herman Krefting was himself asthmatic, which is one explanation for the establishment of the Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research. The foundation supports allergy and asthma research through contributions to various research projects and by financing professorships at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg. In 2008, the foundation signed an agreement with the Sahlgrenska Academy regarding donations towards a new research centre for allergy and asthma, the Krefting Research Centre. Since the establishment of the Kreftingh Research Centre, it has received more than SEK 120 M from the Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research.
In May, 2020, it was announced the Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research, also is donating approximately SEK 50 M to Universeum. Universeum is the National Science Centre of Sweden and a powerful arena for education and popular education in science, technology and sustainable development. The money will be used for a new life science center part of Universeum, a completely new learning environment about asthma and allergies and a professorship in pedagogy. The first part of the new learning environment was opened in April 2022.
The Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research has since the establishment donated around SEK 200 M to asthma and allergy research.
Research by the Krefting Research Centre is to contribute towards increased understanding of the underlying causes of different types of asthma and thereby optimise treatment of asthma patients. The research centre is financed through a long-term agreement between the University of Gothenburg and VBG Group’s principal owner Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research.
You can read more about the Krefting Research Centre and current research projects here.