Perspectives from ISB

France’s Peugeot family, which owns a 14 percent stake in automaker PSA Group, will further diversify its investments and expand outside of France to strengthen its holding company and offset the weight of its shareholding in the car manufacturer founded by Armand Peugeot in 1896. As per company sources, the diversification in the portfolio of FFP, the family’s publicly traded vehicle, would help to counter the cyclical nature of the car business.

The Peugeots began diversifying their assets in the 2000s. They recently bought a stake in French asset manager Tikehau Capital Partners. FFP is planning to invest in international companies or those that have international activities to ‘balance risks’. To find new opportunities, FFP opened a unit in London earlier this year. FFP’s strategy of shifting away from the auto industry mirrors that of Italy’s Agnelli family, which founded the automaker Fiat.

Diversifying already allowed the family to participate in the rescue of PSA two years ago. The Peugeot family invested 350 million euros ($394 million) in PSA from 2010 through 2014. However they were accompanied in the bailout by China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp. and the French government. Thus the 2014 rescue involved the family reducing its stake in the carmaker from 25.5 percent to 14 percent, ending control over the company for the first time since its founding.

 Source: Bloomberg