BNP Paribas, China Investment Corp. (CIC) and Eurazeo have made the first close of a joint fund at 400 million euros (nearly $450 million).
The vehicle, called the France-China Cooperation Fund, was announced in 2019 with a target of 1.5 billion euros. Its first close was underwritten entirely by Eurazeo, CIC and BNP Paribas.
The fund will target investments in French and Continental European companies seeking growth opportunities in China, including advanced industrials, business services, consumer goods and services, healthcare and digital technology, the three companies said in a statement Tuesday.
In addition, the fund will seek investments with Eurazeo’s middle-market buyout strategies, including Eurazeo Capital and Eurazeo PME, the statement said.
Global investment company Eurazeo will manage the France-China Cooperation Fund. Eurazeo has a diversified portfolio of €18.8 billion in assets under management, including 12.5 billion euros from third parties, invested in over 430 companies, according to its website.
Sovereign wealth fund CIC will support the fund’s investee companies as they enter the China market, while French asset management company BNP Paribas will provide a range of contacts across France and the rest of Europe, the statement said.
CIC, BNP Paribas and Eurazeo may commit up to an additional 250 million euros to the fund, with a limit of CIC and BNP taking 25 per cent of the fund, the statement said. Third parties may also be tapped for capital.
CIC, which manages some of China’s foreign-exchange holdings, had gross assets of $940.8 billion in 2018, according to the 2018 annual report, the most recent available on its website.
The Chinese wealth fund has investments in 17 state-owned financial institutions, including China Construction Bank Corp and Agricultural Bank of China. Other CIC investments have included European logistics property player Logicor, ride-hailing companies Grab and Didi Chuxing and Alibaba.