Coca-Cola to Invest 1 Billion Euros in France

The American group Coca-Cola and its bottler in France plan to invest together up to a billion euros over five years, they said Sunday on the eve of “Choose France”, an event dedicated to the attractiveness of the France for foreign investments. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to France by making a lasting contribution to the economy and society for the years to come,” said American group CEO James Quincey, quoted in a communicated. This investment plan will be the subject of a meeting between James Quincey and President Emmanuel Macron on Monday as part of “Choose France”, organized in Versailles. Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), an independent bottler of which the American group Coca-Cola (KO, US $ 56.94) holds only 18%, has thus planned to invest 500 million euros to further strengthen its network of production and distribution.

The British defense group BAE Systems announced Monday the repurchase in cash of more than 2 billion dollars of assets to the American defense groups United Technologies (UTX, US $ 154.40) and Raytheon (RTN, US $ 231.34 ), finalizing their merger. BAE will acquire a military geolocation system from Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of United, for some 1.9 billion, and also take over the airborne tactical radio business from Raytheon for $ 275 million. These transactions are subject to “the effective completion of the merger of Raytheon and United Technologies and to the agreement of the authorities”, specifies BAE. These assets, described as “unique opportunities” by BAE managing director Charles Woodburn, are on the market as part of the divestments required by the American competition authorities to approve the combination of Raytheon and United Technologies. They “strongly complement our electronic systems activity based in the United States” and present “strong growth prospects”. They should also “have an immediate positive impact on results and cash flow” of BAE, the statement said.

The American bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM, US $ 138.20), which has been preparing for two years to transfer part of its London team following Brexit, announced Sunday the acquisition of a second building in the heart of Paris which will be able to receive up to 450 people. These would be added to the 260 collaborators already installed in the French capital, specifies the financial establishment in a press release. “After numerous government reforms and given the intrinsic quality of Parisian infrastructure, this is the ideal time to invest here and for our staff to settle in greater numbers,” commented Kyril Courboin, CEO of the American bank in France, cited in the press release. The operation “will give the bank the opportunity to continue its growth in France, in accordance with its strategy of continuing to serve European customers in a fluid manner from the main cities of the continent, in particular Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Dublin”, specifies the establishment . The big boss of JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon, had indicated at the beginning of 2019 that the bank planned to transfer “several hundreds” of employees from London to the Continent because of Brexit.

The Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC has placed an order for 2 billion euros with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire for two new liners, available in 2025 and 2027 and powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), announced Sunday January 19 the Elysée Palace.

This firm order is accompanied by the signing of two memorandums of understanding with the shipyards, potentially involving 4 billion euros of additional investment, said the executive, ahead of the Choose France summit which opens this Monday at Versailles.

In order to continue to convince that France is attractive despite the current social movements, Emmanuel Macron invited nearly 200 French and foreign bosses under the castle’s bones, for the third edition of this summit, and on the eve of the World Economic Forum from Davos.
France, new star of investors

In addition, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca will invest 207 million euros over five years for the development of its factory in Dunkirk, where Emmanuel Macron is expected on Monday. The group will also devote at least an additional 248 million euros to partnerships with French research, and will set up its European innovation center in Paris, thereby investing another 13 million euros.

In total, the announcements on Sunday evening concerned nearly 4 billion euros in firm investments.

2,400 jobs for 3 and half years in Saint-Nazaire
According to the Elysee Palace, the construction in Saint-Nazaire of two new cruise ships with 6,700 passengers each will generate “14 million hours of work, corresponding to 2,400 jobs for three and a half years”.

The agreement also provides for the development of a new class of LNG liners as well as that of a new prototype of boats propelled partly under sail, effectively integrating the “best environmental innovations”, the cruise sector. being regularly accused of polluting massively.

LNG is a fuel that does not emit sulfur dioxide and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20%, and fine particles by more than 95%.

The executive points out that these orders and memoranda of understanding are “in the wake of 15 boats already built by the shipyards for MSC over the past twenty years” and refers to “13 MSC ships” which will leave Saint-Nazaire in the decade to come.

In November 2019, the delivery to Saint-Nazaire of the “MSC Grandiosa” was preceded by the cutting of the first sheet of the “MSC Europa” from the World Class series. This ship, to be delivered in 2022, will be the first LNG-powered liner built in France.