Peugeot family plan new investments

4 mins read

The esteemed Peugeot family, whose immense wealth has traditionally been rooted in the automotive industry, has embarked on an ambitious diversification strategy, extending their investments into banking, luxury goods, and cybersecurity sectors. The move signifies a significant shift in their investment portfolio while retaining a firm hold on their automotive legacy.

Peugeot Invest, a publicly listed company under the control of the French family dynasty and steered by Robert Peugeot, now boasts a substantial 5.1% stake in Rothschild & Co. bank, following the successful completion of a strategic take-private manoeuvre. This development was disclosed during an earnings presentation held on September 15, underscoring the family’s commitment to broadening their horizons.

The diversification spree witnessed the family venture into various sectors this year, with investments made in Gruppo Florence SpA, an Italian hub renowned for luxury goods manufacturing. Their footprint in the high-end hospitality sector was expanded with the acquisition of Hotel California, strategically positioned near Paris’s illustrious Champs-Élysées. In addition to this, they ventured into the cybersecurity domain through their investment in Nomios, and the legal sector with the adoption of the legal search engine, Doctrine.

Peugeot Invest stands as an entity primarily owned (80%) by Etablissements Peugeot Freres, the family’s dedicated office responsible for managing a substantial fortune anchored in the eponymous car brand, a prominent constituent of Stellantis NV. Despite their enduring legacy in the automotive realm, stretching back to 1889, the family initiated diversification approximately a decade ago in response to financial losses and internal family disputes.

The foray into the realm of luxury goods via Gruppo Florence represents a strategic move. According to Bertrand Finet, Chief Executive Officer of Peugeot Invest, it offers them a valuable foothold in a sector previously unexplored by the family. Additionally, the century-old Hotel California, set to undergo renovations and enhancements, is viewed as a well-located and attractive asset, acquired at a favourable price. Sebastien Coquard, Deputy CEO, highlighted that properties in central Paris remain in high demand and display resilience, positioning the investment favourably.

The financial performance of Peugeot Invest for the first half of the year showcased a notable increase in the net value of its assets, surging from €5 billion at the close of 2022 to €5.5 billion ($5.9 billion), as reported in a statement. The return on investments recorded an impressive 12.4%, reflecting higher dividends and a downward adjustment in the valuation of several real estate holdings.

The investment portfolio of Peugeot Invest spans more than 60 publicly listed and unlisted enterprises, along with a diversified range of private equity and real estate funds. Chairman Robert Peugeot, expressing his satisfaction with the stake in Rothschild, emphasised the family’s strategy of spreading their investments across various sectors and markets, with a growing presence in the United States. This approach has served to mitigate the effects of global economic turbulence in recent years, as stated in his remarks.

The Peugeot family’s industrial roots can be traced back to 1810, when an ancestor transformed a windmill into a steel workshop. Today, family members continue to play an active role in the automotive sector, comprising approximately half of the Peugeot Invest board. With five board members hailing from the ninth generation of the family, there is a clear commitment to ensuring a smooth succession in the family business, as highlighted by Bertrand Finet during the conference call on Friday.