SWFI First Read, March 23, 2017

Amazon to Acquire Souq

E-commerce giant Amazon has agreed to acquire Dubai-based Souq.com from its shareholders. Rumors say the sales price was roughly US$ 650 million. This transaction enables Amazon to expand retail e-commerce control in the Middle East. Institutional backers of Souq include Standard Chartered Private Equity, Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, Naspers, Baillie Gifford, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Tiger Global Management.

Goldman Sachs was the financial advisor for Souq.

Eton Park Hedge Fund to Wind Down

Eric Mindich, the founder of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management, is closing down his hedge fund. Mindich is a former Goldman Sachs star trader who founded Eton Park back in November 2004. 2016 was a difficult year for Eton Park, as returns were down roughly 9.4%. In an investor letter, Mindich stated, “Recently, a combination of industry headwinds, a difficult market environment and, importantly, our own disappointing 2016 results have challenged our ability to continue to maintain the scale and scope we believe necessary to pursue our investment program consistent with our founding principles.”

The hedge fund plans to return 40% of externally-managed capital by the end of April 2017.

Bank of America Snags Former Morgan Stanley Co-Head of Global Financial Institutions

Bank of America has hired Eric Bischof as co-head of its global financial institutions group. He will work alongside Jim O’Neil. This position is based in New York. Bischof was Co-Head of Global Financial Institutions in the investment banking unit at Morgan Stanley.

Grosvenor London Office Fund Sells Fleet Place House to Beijing Capital Development Holdings

The Grosvenor Estate, held in the Grosvenor London Office Fund (GLOF), has disposed a central London property, known as Fleet Place House, to Beijing Capital Development Holding (Group) Co., Ltd. for £96.5 million. The 91,955 square foot property is a mixture of office and retail space. Beijing Capital Development Holding was formed on December 10, 2005 from a merger between Chengkai and Tianhong groups. The buyer is governed by China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

PGGM Kicks in Money to Sustainable Warehouse Projects in Japan

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