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Why Financier Wilbur Ross Loves Ireland

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Turnaround financier Wilbur Ross, Jr., through WL Ross & Co., in June 2014 sold its remaining shares in the Bank of Ireland Plc. WL Ross & Co., Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., and three unnamed investors invested €1.1 billion, essentially 10 cents per share, for a 34.9% stake in Bank of Ireland back in 2011. The investor group bought the troubled bank stake months after Ireland agreed to the EU/IMF bailout. Ross was an active investor in the bank, joining the board of directors and assisted in raising more capital for the institution. WL Ross & Co. sold shares of Bank of Ireland in March 2014 at 32.8 cents per share and the rest in June, earning a huge profit.

In 1998, Fortune Magazine called Ross “the King of Bankruptcy.”

Emerald Isle

Plummeting global oil prices, levels of recovery in the construction sector and steady acceleration in Ireland’s information technology sector, have been positive economic signs for the country. Ireland is poised to be one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies for 2014. Ross has taken his focus toward other sections of Ireland, seeing profit potential in Ireland’s property markets through debt. Already, fixed income giants and private equity firms have been purchasing Irish real estate debt, bidding on deals from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). In April 2014, affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. purchased the Project Eagle portfolio of loans from NAMA. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Altitude Infrastructure Gets Financing on Haute-Garonne Network Project

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Altitude Infrastructure SAS inked a 25-year concession agreement and closed a debt financing package for the deployment and maintenance of an ultra-high-speed broadband network in Haute-Garonne. Haute-Garonne is a department in the south of France.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Guggenheim Partners Agrees to Acquire Millstein & Co.

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On July 11, 2018, Guggenheim Partners inked a deal to acquire New York-based Millstein & Co., L.P., an advisory firm formed by Jim Millstein. Millstein will become co-Chairman of Guggenheim’s securities business. Millstein & Co. will become part of Guggenheim Securities, the investment banking division of the company. Ronen Bojmel will lead the combined Guggenheim restructuring team.

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GIC Holds Steady, Maintains Cautious Investment Stance

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited returned a 5-year return of 6.6% ended March 31, 2018. At March 2018, GIC had increased cash and nominal bonds up 2% to 37% of the total portfolio, while lowering exposure to developed market equities from 27% to 23%.

GIC CEO Lim Chow Kiat commented in his annual letter in the FY 2017-2018 report that, “In view of the high asset valuations, the increased risk of monetary policy tightening across different jurisdictions and the elevated uncertainty, we maintain a cautious investment stance. Nevertheless, we remain ready to take advantage of potential dislocations. The jump in market volatility experienced in early 2018 offered an indication of potentially bigger market turbulence and opportunities in the future.”

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