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Norway’s Sovereign Fund Flexes Muscle to Influence Corporate Change

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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is increasingly flexing its muscle to influence and alter the behavior of publicly-listed companies. The massive wealth fund, which derived its cash pot from crude oil, has an extensive corporate governance policy providing guidance on areas such as labor regulations, executive compensation, water management, environmental impact, munitions and bombs, and climate change contributions. For example, in May 2016, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), joining with other asset owners like California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), insisted U.S. oil giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil Corporation to disclose more about the perils and risks of climate change. NBIM voted in favor of climate-change risk reporting for the two companies. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Qatar Central Bank Deals with MSCI

MSCI, a stock index company whose benchmarks influence investor behavior, has tremendous indirect power impacting the stock markets of smaller economies. In 1988, MSCI released its emerging markets index, a now-widely-used benchmark for many institutional investors wanting access to growth markets. China and South Korea make up the majority of the benchmark, but smaller economies such as Poland, Chile and even Qatar make up other pieces of it.

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bcIMC Buys into Bottling Business with PAI in €1.623 Billion Takeover of Refresco

Dutch soft-drink bottler Refresco Group N.V. has agreed to a buyout offer for all 81.2 million of its shares from French private equity firm PAI Partners SAS (PAI) and Canadian pension manager British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) in exchange for €20 in cash per ordinary share for a total consideration of €1.623 billion. Refresco’s major shareholders, which includes 3i Group, and shareholding members of its boards, who represent 26.5% of outstanding shares, have said they stand behind the deal.

Refresco’s board rejected an initial offer from PAI in April 2017 of €1.4 billion, which they felt did not adequately capture the value added by their plans to bolster its presence in North America through the acquisition of Canadian bottler Cott TB, a deal that went through in July for US$ 1.25 billion.

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Digital Insurance Distributor BGL Opts for CPPIB Money Over IPO

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is investing £675 million (US$ 895.715 million) for a 30% stake in Peterborough-based BGL Group, a digital distributor of insurance and household financial services to 8.5 million customers. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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