As countries around the world navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19, the French government recently announced a €100 billion stimulus package in September 2020, bolstering interest among international investors.
“France has always been a dynamic market, but mainly for domestic investors. Increasingly larger project opportunities are opening up for international players,” says Elise Vaudour, Global Head of Private Capital Markets Principal, within Macquarie Capital’s Infrastructure and Energy Group, based in Paris.
“In our view, hydrogen will be one of the next big technologies and many investors who missed the early push into renewables now regard it as a second opportunity to support the low-carbon transition.”
Head of France and Benelux at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
Macquarie’s presence in France since 2006 and its reputation for investing for the long term has positioned it well to handle major infrastructure project financing and to support foreign investors in France.
“We have a French team on the ground in Paris and well-established long-term relationships. Investors appreciate the breadth and depth of Macquarie’s infrastructure expertise combined with an extensive knowledge of the French market” says Mr Brimont. “And now more than ever before, sustainability is a focus for our clients. It’s embedded into our approach, and we have the skillset across Macquarie to support governments and clients in realising their decarbonisation ambitions.”
Mr Gjonaj agrees “we have commodity and FX experts based in Paris. We also cover more niche, less liquid markets, such as dairy, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, packaging, coking coal and aluminium premium. Close collaboration and knowledge sharing between our specialists is also a benefit to our clients.”
“There’s direct alignment between the firm’s strength in terms of advisory capability and the market opportunities in the French landscape both for corporates and financial investors,” adds Mr Lahame. “You need to have a French team on the ground to navigate regulations, as well as a strong business culture.”
Macquarie’s culture is another point of differentiation in the market. “The investors we work with like our agility, but the fact that we have the means to invest enables us to also be a major financial player and so they get the best of both worlds,” says Ms Vaudour.
Ms Vaudour continues, “our presence in France also anchors our many important collaborations with French firms in assets and transactions around the world. The recently announced collaboration between Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and Total S.A. in South Korean offshore wind is an excellent case in point. It’s the firm’s ability to take a project from a blank sheet of paper to completion and our strong sense of purpose really seems to resonate with our clients in France and internationally.”