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Institutional Investors Keep an Eye on Macron’s France

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French President Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron, a former member of the Socialist Party and former investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque, won the French presidential election on May 7, 2017, handily defeating the populist candidate Marine Le Pen via popular vote with 66.1% versus 33.9%. Macron became the youngest French president at age 39. Macron moved toward the political center during the election, getting support from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former U.S. President Barack Obama. Geopolitically, Macron’s electoral victory helped save the eurozone, as the U.K., Italy, Austria, and Hungary, have elected more nationalist candidates combating EU hegemony.

With a mandate to tackle unemployment, Macron’s economic plan includes embracing climate change measures, tweaking France’s notoriously restrictive labor market regulations, keeping France’s pool of debt under control, and a massive 15 billion EUR plan to invest in training for workers. The long-term debt of France becomes a larger concern if France experiences low-economic growth. Canadian pensions like OMERS and CPPIB and Norway Government Pension Fund Global have boosted illiquid investments in continental Europe, straddling investments between the United Kingdom and the continental Europe. For example, OMERS acquired Paris-based calibration service specialist Trescal SA in late 2017, while GIC acquired the Westin Paris Vendome hotel from Henderson Park Capital Management. As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces revolts from her own party over her Brexit proposal, Macron is facing political headwinds in France being perceived by some as an “out of touch” elitist, according to several Euro-focused news media sites.

Like the past few French presidents such as François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, according to numerous polls Macron’s popularity has been sliding. On November 24, 2018, the Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) protesters descended into Paris protesting against an increase in fuel prices and living costs. Fires raged along Champs Elysee, as police used tear gas and water cannons to blast protestors. Macron is pushing a new fuel tax increase, about four euro cents. In France, Gasoline costs around 1.64 euros per liter (comparable to US$ 7.07 per gallon). 81,000 people protested across France, compared to 244,000 from the previous Saturday.

Antares Bain Capital Complete Financing Solution Backs symplr Deal

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On December 10, 2018, Antares Bain Capital Complete Financing Solution provided a senior secured unitranche credit facility for Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. to acquire symplr, a healthcare governance, risk, and compliance software-as-a-service platform from Pamlico Capital and The CapStreet Group. Golub Capital provided financing for the transaction as well.

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PSP Investments Exits Antelliq

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On December 14th, Private equity firm BC Partners, Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), and other minority co-investors have signed a definitive agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to sell Antelliq Corporation, a Vitré, France-based provider of digital animal identification, traceability, and monitoring solutions. Upon close, Antelliq will be a wholly owned and separately operated subsidiary within the Merck Animal Health Division. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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JPMorgan Edges Out Hamilton Lane on Florida SBA In-State Mandate

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The Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) manages a plethora of Florida state funds, including the state’s defined benefit plans. Florida’s SBA awarded a private equity portfolio mandate which targets high-technology businesses in Florida to J.P. Morgan Asset Management. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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