March 12, 2024

Novo Holdings reports Total Income and Investment Returns of DKK 31 billion (4.2 billion) for 2023. Total Assets grow by 38% to DKK 1,114 billion (€149 billion)

Copenhagen, Denmark – Novo Holdings today announced its financial results for 2023*. Strong Investment Portfolio performance, and growth of the Novo Group companies drive Total Income and Investment Returns to DKK 31 billion (€4.2 billion) for 2023, up from DKK 3 billion (€0.4 billion) in 2022. The Investment Portfolio generated a return of 9.4%, compared to -6.3% in 2022. Including Special Investments**, the Total Investment Return is 7%.

Total Income and Investment Returns of DKK 31 billion are comprised of income from dividends and the share repurchase programmes of the Novo Group companies (Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, now known as Novonesis following the merger with Chr. Hansen), totalling DKK 19 billion (€2.5 billion), and Returns from the Investment Portfolio generating an income of DKK 13 billion (€1.7 billion) when including all Investment Assets. The 5- and 10-year trailing returns for the Investment Portfolio are 10.1% for both horizons.

Novo Holdings closed 2023 with Total Assets under Management of DKK 1,114 billion (€149 billion), up from DKK 805 billion (€108 billion) in 2022.

Kasim Kutay, CEO of Novo Holdings, said:
“The strong performance of our Investment Portfolio, coupled with our diversification efforts, led to 9.4% returns in 2023, which is above industry benchmarks. By generating attractive long-term returns, Novo Holdings enables the growth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s grant-giving capacity in medical, scientific, and humanitarian fields.”

A year of high investment activity  
The Novo Holdings Investment Portfolio comprises Life Science Investments (Seed Investments, Venture Investments, Bioindustrial Investments, Asia Investments, Growth Investments and Principal Investments), making up 51% of the portfolio, and Capital Investments, 49% of the portfolio.

In 2023, Life Science Investments reported a DKK 5 billion (€0.7 billion) return, compared to a negative DKK -6 billion (€-0.9 billion) return in 2022.

Capital Investments reported a DKK 8 billion (€.1.0 billion) return, compared to a negative DKK -5 billion (€-0.7 billion) return in 2022.

2023 was characterised by high investment activity across most of Novo Holdings’ various investment verticals. Novo Holdings welcomed 30 new companies to the Investment Portfolio and exited 26 companies. By year-end, the Investment Portfolio included a total of 170 companies.

During a year where global biotech investment activity was less vigorous, Novo Holdings continued to support life sciences companies in their efforts to improve health outcomes for patients and to foster better planetary health.

“Among notable investments in the life sciences space in 2023, we acquired Denmark-based company Ellab, which provides crucial validation and monitoring solutions and services for biotech and pharmaceutical processes,” Kasim Kutay said.

“2023 was also a good year for Capital Investments, our non-life science investment team. Capital Investments closed the year with DKK 98 billion (€13 billion) of investment assets and generated a return of 9% versus a negative return of -6% in 2022. Highlights for 2023 include investments in Euroclear, a global provider of financial market infrastructure, and Glentra Capital, a new energy transition investment firm which was co-founded by Novo Holdings in 2022.”

New strategy to accelerate the green transition of industry and society
2023 marked the completion of Novo Holdings’ 5-year strategy period, with returns exceeding expectations. Milestones achieved over the past 5 years include the launch of an investment platform in Asia headquartered in Singapore, the establishment of a global Bioindustrial Investments vertical, and the acceleration of private equity investment activities in North America.

In 2024, Novo Holdings will start its Strategy 2030 journey, which encompasses operational scaling and the acceleration of green transition investments. By 2030, Novo Holdings aims to increase its green transition investment allocation from approximately 2% to 10% of its total investment funds. The focus will be on companies focused on planetary health across the value chain including technology, growth, scaling and infrastructure.  

A key contributor to Novo Holdings’ efforts to advance planetary health is Novonesis, the company that has emerged as the result of the combination of Novozymes and Chr. Hansen. With the merger closed at the beginning of 2024, Novonesis is set to become an industrial biosolutions powerhouse, harnessing the power of biotechnology to transform consumer products and make industrial and agricultural processes more sustainable and efficient.

“In summary, 2023 was an exciting year for Novo Holdings, and 2024 holds promising opportunities. Novo Holdings recently announced an agreement to acquire Catalent, a world leading global Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO). In connection with this agreement, Novo Nordisk has agreed to acquire three of Catalent’s fill/finish sites from Novo Holdings. With a transaction value at $16.5 billion, the transaction will represent our largest ever investment. The transaction is expected to close by year-end of the calendar year 2024,” Kasim Kutay said.

* This performance report is an unaudited version of the 2023 performance of Novo Holdings. The audited version of the 2023 Annual Report of Novo Holdings is expected to be released in May 2024, as it is dependent on the release of the consolidated financial statements of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, expected to be released later than in previous years due to the merger of Chr. Hansen and Novozymes.

**The Investment Portfolio excludes Special Investments, which comprise investments that are made at below market return targets (e.g. impact investments), and assets that are held for Novo Nordisk Foundation strategic purposes. Including all assets, the Total Investment Return is 7%.

2023 highlights

The Novo Group Companies, Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S delivered strong annual results. Novo Nordisk's sales increased by 31% in DKK and by 36% at constant exchange rates, and Novozymes reported 5% organic sales growth in 2023.

The Capital Investments portfolio generated a profit of DKK 7.6 billion (€1.0 billion), compared to DKK -5.1 billion (€-0.7 billion) in 2022. Capital Investments’ public portfolio had a solid performance in 2023 with returns on par with the benchmark for the year, and above our long-term average returns. The private portfolio faced a more difficult year, as higher interest rates had a negative impact on valuations. Notable investments in 2023 include a €267 million investment in EuroClear, a global provider of financial market infrastructure.

Principal Investments realised total proceeds of $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) (including the sale of Synlab, which was not closed at year-end). These proceeds have in part been generated by full or partial divestments of 7 shareholdings, predominantly from the public portfolio. The most significant exit is the agreement to sell the ~17% shareholding in European listed company Synlab to Cinven for €10 per share returning a total of €380 million. Principal Investments made a new platform investment with the acquisition of Ellab, a global leader in providing validation and monitoring solutions and services mainly for biotech and pharma processes.

At the beginning of 2023, Growth Investments executed a new $40 million (€36 million) investment in Evosep, to further Evosep’s technology and application portfolio. Growth Investments executed one follow-on investment in 2023, deploying DKK 0.5 billion (€0.1 billion) in Oxford Biomedica, a leading gene and cell therapy group focused on developing life-changing treatments for serious diseases. During 2023, Growth Investments received capital returns of DKK 13 million (€2 million).

Venture Investments deployed DKK 3.6 billion (€0.5 billion) in 2023, including DKK 1.4 billion (€0.2 billion) committed to 15 new investments. Notable new investments include 4D Molecular, Alentis Therapeutics, BioGeneration Capital Fund V, CARGO Therapeutics, Cymabay, Fire1, Hillstar Bio, Lexeo Therapeutics, ManaT Bio, Maplight Therapeutics, Octave Health, Pureos Bioventures Fund II, Ray Therapeutics, Terremoto Biosciences and Scion Fund I. Venture Investments exited 16 investments, and realised DKK 3.4 billion (€0.5 billion) from the sale of publicly traded stock as well as from the acquisition of several of our portfolio companies.

Seed Investments deployed DKK 1.2 billion (€0.2 billion) in 2023, including significant investments in Hemab Therapeutics, Adcendo, Acesion Pharma and Commit Biologics. Other notable activities in 2023 include the establishment of Seed Investments’ own experimental incubator laboratory in Denmark and the acquisition of Paratek Pharmaceuticals through the REPAIR Impact Fund.  Seed Investments raised >$460 million (€417 million) for its portfolio in 2023, and by year-end, the portfolio comprised 36 companies. Most of the portfolio consists of private investments, valued at DKK 3.5 billion (€0.5 billion) at year end, 41% higher than at the end of 2022.

The REPAIR Impact Fund closed the acquisition of Paratek Pharmaceuticals together with Gurnet Point Capital. Paratek is one of the leading independent antibiotics companies in the world, and the transaction was valued at approximately $462 million (€419 million). Further, the REPAIR Impact Fund co-led the $37 million (€34 million) series A financing for LimmaTech Biologics and supported the $10 million (€9 million) series B financing for Revagenix. By year-end, the REPAIR Impact Fund was valued at DKK 798 million (€107 million), compared to DKK 317 million (€43 million) at the end of 2022.

Bioindustrial Investments executed seven investments during 2023, deploying DKK 1 billion (€0.1 billion). Notable transactions include co-leading the $17 million (€15 million) series A financing of Aquafortus, a water technology company that purifies high salinity brines. Another water-tech investment was the €4.7 million investment in HPNow, a Danish firm pioneering an innovative form of water treatment. Additionally, Bioindustrial Investments completed follow-on investments in several portfolio companies, including 21st. BIO, Bactolife, Biomason, Deep Branch and LanzaTech. By the end of the year, the Bioindustrial Investments portfolio was valued at DKK 4.1 billion (€0.6 billion) and included 23 companies, of which 22 were private and one public.

Asia Investments invests across life science subsectors, applying a tailored approach to each region and country. Most of the portfolio consists of direct, private investments, valued at DKK 2.7 billion (€0.4 billion) at year-end, compared with DKK 1.4 billion (€0.2 billion) at the end of 2022. Notable transactions in 2023 include co-leading of the series C financing in LePure Biotech, a leading provider of high-quality and innovative single-use bioprocessing solutions in China. Further, Asia Investments participated as a cornerstone investor in the $470 million (€426 million) IPO of WuXi XDC for listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Additional highlights include participation in the $135 million (€122 million) series D financing of Halodoc and participation in the $39 million (€35 million) series C1 financing of Doctor Anywhere.

Return on the Investment Portfolio

The following table shows the 5- and 10-year returns for Life Science Investments, Capital Investments and the Total Investment Portfolio. The results for 2022 are included for comparison along with the long-term returns.

Income and Investment Returns (in DKK (EUR) billion):

As a holding and investment company, Novo Holdings invests to generate long-term returns. The Total Value of the Holding and Assets under Management was DKK 1,114 billion (€149 billion) at the end of 2023.

 Assets under Management (in DKK (EUR) billion):

Notes: Income from the Novo Group includes dividends received from Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, in addition to income related to the sale of shares in Novo Group companies. In the investment assets overview, the value of the Novo Group is presented with both A and B shares valued at the closing price of B shares on 31 December 2023 and 31 December 2022. Income and Investment Returns as well as Total Holdings and Investment Assets include the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s share of returns and assets.

About the performance overview of the Investment Portfolio

All returns are calculated in DKK and reflect total returns excluding internal costs. The returns on Life Science Investments are calculated as Internal Rate of Return (IRR) based on the book value at the end of the measurement period and cash flows within the measurement period, compared with the book value at the beginning of the measurement period. Capital Investments’ returns and Investment Portfolio returns are based on Time Weighted Returns (TWR).

Read the Novo Holdings Performance Report 2023 here.

About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk and Novozymes (the Novo Group companies) and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development and also manages a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate and infrastructure assets as well as private equity investments.

As of year-end 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of €149 billion. Further information:

Further information

Further information

Marie-Louise Jersin, Senior Communications Partner, +45 3049 4957,