Fonds Stratégique de Participations: First two investments in support of the French economy

July 3 2013

The Fonds Stratégique de Participations (the FSP or Strategic Equity Fund) and its founders – BNP Paribas Cardif, CNP Assurances, Crédit Agricole Assurances (through its subsidiary Predica) and Sogécap (Société Générale Group) – announce the FSP’s first major investments in two industry leaders in France, Arkema and Groupe SEB. The FSP’s equity investment in these companies reflects its desire to support their development through long-term investment and participate in their governance. Management of the FSP has been entrusted to the Edmond de Rothschild Group.

The FSP was created in 2012 to become an important shareholder in French SBF 250 companies and thereby actively help provide funding for the French economy.

By pooling the strength of four major French insurance companies, the FSP will serve as a responsible and engaged shareholder, providing support for the strategies established and implemented by the companies selected for their sound financial situation, capacity for innovation and visibility.

The organization and management of the FSP were entrusted to the Edmond de Rothschild Group in its capacity as an independent asset management specialist.

For its first investments, the FSP decided to acquire equity interests in Arkema and Groupe SEB, both of which are companies with high added value in the French economy. The 5% shareholding threshold in the companies’ capital has now been crossed. Currently, the FSP holds 6.05% of Arkema’s capital and 5.25% of Groupe SEB’s capital.

  • A world leader in the development, production and marketing of chemicals, Arkema applies its technological know-how within a recognized culture of innovation and also enjoys a balanced geographic presence. The company has focused its specialty chemicals business on key long-term trends such as biopolymers, efficient energy use, renewable energy, lightweight materials and water management.
  • Groupe SEB, which is controlled by its founding family, is a world leader in small household equipment, enjoying a unique brand portfolio and the largest product offering on the market. Its business model is based on organic growth driven by innovation, international expansion and targeted external growth. With a focus on creating long-term value, the company’s governance structure draws on directors representing family shareholders, long-term investors and independent directors.

The stakes acquired by the FSP are supported by high-quality management, robust business models and strong governance, offering long-term growth prospects.

By investing in the FSP, the four insurance companies – as leading institutional investors – aim to channel a portion of French long-term savings held through life insurance towards equity investments compatible with the long-term duration of their liabilities.

Carried out in cooperation with the target companies, the FSP’s investments will enable the FSP to be represented on the companies’ boards of directors. In this regard, the FSP will propose to each company an independent person to sit on its board and participate in the company’s governance.

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