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CIC and Noble Enter into Investment and Cooperation Agreement

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Press Release states, “The Noble Group (SGX: NOBL) is pleased to announce today an agreement to place 573,000,000 number of shares, for a total consideration of approximately USD 850,000,000 to China Investment Corporation (“CIC”) at a price of SGD2.1137 per share. The placement comprised of 438,000,000 newly issued shares by the Company and 135,000,000 shares from trusts associated with the interests of Noble founder and CEO Richard Elman. The placement is subject to approval of the respective boards of directors of Noble Group and CIC and final legal documentation.

The placement was the result of extensive discussions between the two parties and underscores the expertise the Noble Group has developed in supply chain management and the distribution of commodities, particularly agricultural products. Noble’s diverse agricultural activities include farm production in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil which is linked to an internal logistic and storage capability. Access to export markets is further supported by 5 owned port facilities throughout South America. Noble’s other agricultural assets include crushing plants and sugar refineries.

The newly issued shares will provide the Noble Group with additional capital to pursue strategic investments in key agricultural markets globally.

The shares sold by interests associated with Mr. Elman represent a small fraction of his holdings in the Noble Group and are only the second such sale by Mr. Elman since he founded the Group. It is the intention of Mr. Elman to use some of the proceeds associated with the sale of his interests in Noble to fund a charitable foundation with a focus on fostering international relations amongst Asian nations. The sale by Mr. Elman in no way reduces Mr. Elman’s commitment to Noble Group, the company which he founded and continues to be involved in day to day management.

CIC and Noble have agreed to enter into this partnership for the purpose of jointly investing in infrastructure assets and supply chain management related to agricultural commodities. It is the intention of both companies to bring to bear their respective strengths to achieve results which are satisfactory to their respective shareholders and bring benefits to consumers of agricultural products worldwide.

Mr. Elman commented “We are all extremely pleased with the investment by CIC in Noble and heartened that they, like us, evaluate the evolution and success of a company over decades as opposed to merely fiscal quarters. We think the opportunities to work together over the coming decades will be tremendous and we look forward to working together.”

Merrill Lynch (Singapore) Pte. Limited acted as the sole placement agent for Noble Group. J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited acted as financial advisor to CIC.”

read more: Press Release: The Noble Group

CPPIB and Ares-Owned Neiman Marcus Faces Lawsuit from Marble Ridge Capital

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The storied Neiman Marcus Group is a highly-leveraged luxury retailer as the result of two leveraged buyouts (LBO). After its second LBO, Neiman Marcus was stuck with US$ 4.91 billion in funded debt. Neiman Marcus’ profits are in sharp decline starting from 2015. Neiman Marcus is facing short term debt maturities.

Hedge fund Marble Ridge Capital LP, a New York-based firm, is suing Neiman Marcus Group, Inc., and the investors behind it in Dallas County, Texas. Marble Ridge Capital claims the parent company of Neiman Marcus defrauded creditors of Neiman Marcus by transferring assets worth approximately US$ 1 billion of value to the parent company for no consideration. Maple Ridge Capital claims the scheme was perpetrated for the benefit of the indirect beneficial owners of the company – Ares Management, L.P. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), according to the lawsuit. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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SWFI First Read, December 10, 2018

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IMF Bentham Opens New London Office

IMF Bentham Limited opened a new London office called IMF Litigation Funding Services Limited. The division will provide litigation finance, investment capital and strategic services for disputes in the EMEA region, which includes the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Falck Renewables Buys Portfolio of Windfarms in France

A subsidiary of Falck Renewables acquired a portfolio of five onshore windfarms in north-eastern and western France from a fund affiliated with Glennmont Partners for €37 million. The sale was due to the fund’s divestment plan. These windfarms are located in Bois Ballay, Les Coudrays, Mazeray, Eol Team, and Noyales.

Carlos Ghosn Charged by Japanese Prosecutors

Japan government prosecutors indicted Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motor, and the auto company. The indictment accuses the parties of violating Japanese financial laws by underreporting his compensation. Nissan disclosed Ghosn’s misconduct which included underreporting his compensation and using corporate funds for personal expenses.

OIF Plans to Go Defensive on Public Equities

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First Inning on Augmented Reality a Strike for SWFs

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Augmented reality (AR), which is not the same as virtual reality, is an industry that sovereign wealth capital has slowly permeated. The impressive technology has not made inroads into mainstream U.S. culture – remember Google’s efforts with Google Glasses. However, these augmented reality glasses may have industrial purposes such as in car production or logistics.

Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad backed London-based Blippar, an augmented reality studio company. Blippar appears to be on the brink of financial collapse, according to a number of media sources. There is a dispute between investors Khazanah and Nick Candy, in which the SWF had blocked emergency fundraising. This fundraising effort would have most likely lowered Khazanah’s equity stake. In June 2018, Blippar raised an extra £20 million from investors to keep things running. David Rubin & Partners LLP was hired by Blippar as insolvency practitioners.

Magic Leap

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