ABB is to sell its 35 per cent stake in Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) to the state for around $160 million as part of its drive to reduce debt. The deal is expected close by end-June, subject to approval by Sweden’s parliament and achievement of capital funding by SEK. The government will then own all SEK’s shares. The bulk of ABB’s structured finance unit was sold to GE last year.

The deal is part of ABB’s continuing asset divestment aimed at reducing its $8.2 billion of indebtedness, mainly incurred during a period of acquisition activity that almost led to its bankruptcy last year. ABB shares stood at 4.15 Swiss francs in early June, compared to their peak of 50 francs in 2000.