Plastic waste and new technologies to produce alternatives to plastic are priority areas for the family’s investment fund.
Billionaire Lego owners are poised to transfer more of their wealth to companies looking to reduce plastic surplus in an environmentally friendly way.
Kirkbi, who oversees around $ 20 billion in assets on behalf of the family behind toy maker Lego, is looking for at least one new plastic project to invest in this year. This is after testing the market for the first time in 2020 with its purchase of a stake in Quantafuel AS, a Norwegian company that turns old plastic into energy.
In an interview, Chief Investment Officer Thomas Lau Schleicher identified plastic waste as a key area of focus for the fund. But he’s also looking at ideas such as “new technologies to produce alternatives to plastic,” he said.
Kirkbi is chaired by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of the founder of Lego and one of Denmark’s richest men with a fortune of $ 7.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In recent years, he has given more control over Kirkbi to his three children, Agnete Kirk Thinggaard, Sofie Kirk Kristiansen and Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, who each have a personal fortune of around $ 7.1 billion.
The Lego family fund underlines its commitment to the fight against plastic waste with the creation of a new portfolio for such investments, called Circular Plastic.
Schleicher says there is no connection between Kirkbi’s investments in the region and Lego’s own use of plastic in its production. The company, which manufactures nearly 100,000 tonnes of plastic bricks every year, is trying to develop a product that uses renewable and plant-based materials, such as sugar cane.
Kirkbi’s investment in Quantafuel has already paid off, with the value of its stake almost doubling since its June investment of around $ 26 million. Schleicher said Kirkbi was ready to support Quantafuel if he needed to raise new capital.
The fund also wants to invest more in solar and wind power, adding to the $ 1.3 billion already spent in the region. But prices have skyrocketed as more investors pile in, Schleicher said.
Kirkbi is therefore looking to enter potential investments earlier in the value chain, as it has done with Adapture Renewables, which both develops, builds and owns solar cell farms.
“We have often found it difficult to participate in auctions where these farms are sold at very high prices,” said the IOC. “A lot of capital is flowing into this world right now.”