French public lender raises 4.2 billion euros for fund to boost French firms

PARIS (Reuters) – Bpifrance has raised nearly 4.2 billion euros (£3.8 billion) for a new fund to shore up the capital base of big listed French companies, the French public investment bank said on Monday.

A first round of capital raising has yielded 3.2 billion euros from over 20 investors and another 1 billion euros in debt was raised for a fund known as LAC 1, Bpifrance said

French institutional investors include Covea, Axa (AXAF.PA), CNP Assurances, BNP Paribas Cardif (BNPP.PA), Generali (GASI.MI), Groupama, Groupe VYV, Societe Generale Assurances (SOGN.PA), the Caisse des Dépôts, Natixis (CNAT.PA), Aviva France (AV.L), Scor (SCOR.PA), and CCR, as well as telecoms operator Orange (ORAN.PA) and the Unibel and Financière Dassault family offices.

Bpifrance and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co had already indicated in February that they would invest one billion euros each in the fund.

Bpifrance has said it aims to eventually raise up to 10 billion euros for the fund, which aims to provide stable long-term investment in French companies adapting their business models or shareholder bases but also facing activist investor campaigns.

Bpifrance sought to drum up investment in the fund saying it would generate attractive yields by deploying capital in about 15 companies with a time horizon of 10 years.

Reporting by Gwenelle Barzic, Leigh Thomas; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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