CIC’s €1.5bn European bet is latest in string of bilateral fund tie-ups

Eurazeo China Growth Fund will be sector agnostic and will aim to help European companies that want to tap China’s growing middle-class consumer market.

China Investment Corporation, the world’s second-largest sovereign wealth fund, last week agreed to anchor a fund that will back French and European companies that want to expand in China.

The $940 billion investor teamed up with Paris-headquartered investment firm Eurazeo and BNP Paribas for Eurazeo China Growth Fund, which is seeking to raise between €1 billion and €1.5 billion, according to a statement.

CIC, Eurazeo and BNP Paribas will invest in the fund and additional capital could be raised from third-party investors, Frans Tieleman managing partner at Eurazeo, told Private Equity International. He declined to comment on the investors’ individual capital commitments.

The fund, which remains sector agnostic, will bring additional capital to European companies and help them to tap China’s growing middle-class consumer market through CIC’s network, he added.

Eurazeo will be responsible for managing the fund, as well as choosing and managing the investments, it said in the statement. The firm, which has €17 billion in assets under management across private equity, venture capital, real estate and private debt, opened an office in Shanghai in 2013.

CIC is known for setting up bilateral funds with both public and private players. In 2017 it established a $5 billion fund with Goldman Sachs to invest in manufacturing, industrial, consumer and healthcare companies in the US. Last October it teamed up with Nomura HoldingsDaiwa Securities GroupMitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and Mizuho Financial Group for an up to $1.8 billion fund for Japanese SMEs. The following month it said it was in discussions with HSBC and Charterhouse Capital Partners to set up a vehicle to invest in British companies with ties to China, according to a statement from HSBC. The trio were seeking to raise up to £1 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.2 billion), according to reports at the time.

The SWF is also planning to establish similar funds in Italy, Germany and Israel, it said in a statement.

CIC did not return a request for comment.