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Here’s How Sovereign Wealth Funds Can Save Yahoo

Yahoo - Screenshot - Taken on February 21, 2016

Yahoo – Screenshot – Taken on February 21, 2016

The board of directors at Yahoo! Inc. made it public they formed an independent committee to begin looking at strategic alternatives for the fabled internet company. One such alternative is spinning off its core business. Yahoo announced that a new committee of directors would reach out to potentially interest parties and make recommendations on any proposed deals. Assisting Yahoo in this strategic process are Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan & Chase and PJT Partners. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP was hired by Yahoo as a legal advisor regarding this situation. Yahoo continues to move forward on its plans to split its core business from its 15% stake in Alibaba Group. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer still believes the company can turn itself around. Yahoo has already incurred layoffs and shut down web properties such as Yahoo Auto, Yahoo Real Estate, Yahoo Health, Yahoo Makers and Yahoo Parenting. Yahoo has also struggled with its major acquisition of Tumblr. Yahoo paid US$ 1.1 billion for the web property in 2013. Yahoo inked a US$ 230 million write down on Tumblr, as the website failed to meet its annual revenue target of over US$ 100 million.

The founder of Starboard Jeffrey Smith, which has institutional backers such as the CPPIB, is maintaining its stance on nominating a new slate of directors for Yahoo by galvanizing other key owners of the internet company.

The Activist Hedge Fund

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Concerns Raised at Potential BlackRock Takeover of CalPERS’ Private Equity

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has been analyzing options on what to do with its massive US$ 26 billion private equity program. The pension system has embraced the mantra of reducing cost, reducing complexity and reducing risk, the hallmark of its program called “INVO 2020”. CalPERS also wants less, but more strategic relationships with external money managers. At one point, CalPERS was contemplating increasing its direct investment staff to model Canadian pension funds such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), OMERS and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan. The pendulum has begun to swing the other way as reported earlier by SWFI research staff.

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CDP Signs €1.7 Billion Infrastructure Loan Agreement with Atlantia Group

Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Atlantia Group’s Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) have signed a €1.7 billion loan contract dedicated to upgrading motorways in Italy under concession to ASPI. €1.1 billion will come in the form of a term loan with a 10-year tenure, with the remaining €600 million wrapped up in a five-year revolving loan.

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Sovereign Funds Commit to Integrating Climate-Related Risks at One Planet Summit

Representatives from a number of sovereign wealth funds who collectively govern over US$ 2 trillion in assets came together at the One Planet Summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris in order to discuss what public asset owners can do to incorporate climate change-related risks and opportunities into investment considerations.

The newly formed committee – called the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group – includes as its founding members the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

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