Crédit Agricole Group is providing significant support to the aeronautical investment fund created to bolster the capital of strategic French companies in this sector weakened by the current health and economic crisis, prepare for the post-crisis environment, assist them in their development, and contribute to the reinforcement of the sector.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of its regional banks, LCL, and Crédit Agricole S.A., Crédit Agricole Group is investing €100 million alongside the French government, four major players in the GIFAS (French aerospace industries association) – Airbus, Dassault, Safran, and Thales – and Tikehau Capital.
This investment in the aeronautics sector supports the main focus areas of the Plan de Relance (France’s recovery plan) and is in line with Crédit Agricole Group’s purpose: “Working every day for you and society”. It has the following aims:
- Ensuring short-term protection for companies weakened by the health crisis,
- Maintaining skills and know-how in this sector employing more than 380,000 people,
- Supporting the sector’s SMEs and mid-caps in their innovation efforts and digital transformation
“The investment by more than 20 Crédit Agricole regional banks reaffirms our long- lasting support for the aeronautics sector in all regions. It will help to sustain and transform this French sector of excellence”, explained Nicolas Langevin, CEO of the Crédit Agricole Toulouse 31 regional bank.
Olivier Nicolas, Head of Corporate, Institutional, Wealth Management and Private Banking Division of LCL, confirmed that “by investing in the Ace Aéro Partenaires fund and as arranger of the first ‘Aero’ government-guaranteed loan on 23 December, LCL is demonstrating its support for this sector, which will face immense post-COVID challenges: strengthening an industrial base weakened by the crisis, preserving research and development capabilities, and, of course, accelerating innovation to foster the green transition. LCL will be proud to participate alongside other Crédit Agricole Group entities”.
The fund is managed by the private equity firm Ace Capital Partners, subsidiary of Tikehau Capital, which specialises in strategic industrial and technological sectors and invests in niche players (Support Capital) and in platforms aimed at strengthening the sector (Platform Capital).
Marwan Lahoud, Executive Chairman of Ace Capital Partners, stated, “We applaud Crédit Agricole’s commitment to this key investment vehicle for the aeronautics sector, which we have the pleasure of managing. This investment marks an important milestone in its development. We are delighted to be able to count on this new strategic partner in our work as a sector-focused investor committed to protecting and strengthening this cutting-edge industry”.
Antoine Flamarion and Mathieu Chabran, co-founders of Tikehau Capital, added, “We are delighted with this investment by our long-standing partner, Crédit Agricole. Its very significant contribution will be an important factor in ensuring the success of the fund dedicated to the aeronautics sector. We wanted to go beyond our subsidiary Ace Capital Partners’ role as the manager of the fund by committing our own balance sheet in this sector, in line with our strategy to align our interests with those of our investor partners”.
When it was launched on 28 July 2020, the ambition of the aeronautical fund, which had raised total commitments of €630 million in the first round of funding1, was the rapid accumulation of €1 billion in assets under management. This investment by Crédit Agricole is therefore a major step towards achieving this goal.