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 research centre, it has received more than SEK 100 M from the Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma 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.