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Friday SWFI News Roundup, January 9, 2015

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PIMCO CEO Hodge Bullish on Smart Beta

Since 2009, PIMCO has been attempting to make serious waves in the equity management space. The Newport Beach money manager is joining the smart beta game. PIMCO is teaming up with Research Affiliates to launch a series of funds to track fundamental indexes. Research Affiliates has licensed the use of its proprietary indexes to asset managers such as Invesco Ltd.

Ares Management Raises Two Real Estate Funds

Los Angeles-based Ares Management, L.P. closed two real estate funds. Ares European Real Estate Fund IV, which focuses on UK, Germany and France, closed at $1.3 billion. Ares US Real Estate Fund VIII attracted US$ 824 million in commitments and will target value-add real estate. Some of the real estate fund investors include pensions and sovereign wealth funds. In 2013, Ares Management acquired AREA Property Partners.

OTPP Makes Big Investment in PetVet Care Centers

On January 8th, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) announced they acquired Westport-based PetVet Care Centers, an operator of specialty and general practice animal hospitals in the United States, from private equity firm Catterton for around US$ 440 million. Greenwich-based Catterton will retain a minority interest in PetVet, along with PetVet CEO Gino Volpacchio. PetVet has 19 general practice and 11 specialty hospitals.

RRJ Capital Hopes to Raise $4 Billion for Next Asia Fund

RRJ Capital is looking to raise US$ 4 billion for a third Asian private equity fund. The first fund raised US$ 2.3 billion, while fund II raised US$ 3.6 billion. RRJ Capital is managed by Malaysian brothers, Richard and Charles Ong. Charles Ong is the former chief investment officer of Temasek Holdings.

Investment Corporation of Dubai Moves Closer to Acquiring Ssangyong Engineering & Construction

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Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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