March 25, 2020 / 3:16 PM / in 4 days

UPDATE 1-Private fund FSP takes stake in French car parts maker Valeo

(Writes through with details on FSP)

PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - French mutual fund Fonds Strategique de Participations (FSP), which is backed by insurance companies, has built a 4% stake in car equipment maker Valeo as part of a wider plan to support companies through the coronavirus crisis.

Created by a group of insurers including BNP Paribas Cardif, FSP has holdings in other firms like satellite maker Eutelsat and says it is a long-term investor rather than a fund to assist companies with liquidity problems.

FSP said that had been considering investing in Valeo since 2019, although it would also support firms during the pandemic.

“In the current crisis environment ... the FSP is expressing its solidarity, backing and confidence to all the companies in which it has invested,” FSP said in a statement on Wednesday.

The coronavirus crisis has hit auto firms and their suppliers hard, as production chains grind to a halt across Europe following a shutdown earlier this year in China.

Valeo said in a statement that FSP would be represented on its board by Julie Avrane-Chopard, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, replacing Georges Pauget who resigned on March 24.

It said giving FSP a board seat will be submitted for ratification at its next AGM, which is now slated for June 25.

France has set up various schemes to help companies in distress as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including government guarantees of up to 300 billion euros ($325 billion) on business loans through commercial banks. (Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Dominique Vidalon, Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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