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Aon’s Failed Deal Highlight’s Biden’s Aggressive Antitrust Approach

  • July 27, 2021

Bitcoin continues to swing on Amazon rumors. The e-commerce giant denied reports that it was about to accept crypto payments, which briefly pushed Bitcoin’s price above $40,000. Lawmakers in the House and Senate will hold hearings today on the benefits and risks of cryptocurrency, amid reports that the Justice Department is investigating executives at Tether, which plays a key role in crypto trading.

China adds another sector to its business crackdown. Shares in Meituan, a leader in the food-delivery sector, dropped for a second day after regulators ordered the industry to ensure workers earned a local minimum wage. Amid Beijing’s efforts to rein in a wide range of companies, an S.E.C. commissioner said that U.S.-listed Chinese firms should disclose the risks of government interference. (The influential investor Cathie Wood is dumping her firm’s stakes in Chinese companies.)

Countries split on pandemic travel restrictions. On the one hand, Britain is weighing making it easier for European and American travelers to enter, hoping to bolster its tourism industry. On the other, the U.S. will continue to restrict access to Europeans, citing the Delta variant.

When Bono helped recruit the former Treasury secretary and Goldman Sachs chief Hank Paulson to join TPG’s impact investing initiative, part of the pitch was that a private equity fund focused on fighting climate change could be big. He was right.

The TPG Rise Climate fund will announce today that it has raised nearly $5.5 billion in its first investment round, which would make it the largest climate-focused fund in the world. The fund, which counts the TPG co-founder Jim Coulter as its managing partner, would rank as the 25th-largest private equity fund out of more than 1,200 raised this year, according to PitchBook. It has a cap of $7 billion, so it could get bigger.

Unusually, Rise Climate’s investors aren’t simply the big pension funds. Investors include Apple, General Motors, Nike, FedEx, Honeywell and roughly three dozen other large corporations, which collectively are contributing about $1 billion. Corporations rarely invest in private equity funds, so their participation underscores the demand by both investors and companies to find climate solutions.

  • The companies that invested in the fund will most likely have access to many of the businesses that TPG invests in, helping them grow, and potentially validating them. TPG said Rise Climate would be focused on companies that can “enable carbon aversion in a measurable way.”

Earlier this year, Paulson told Andrew that for a fund focused on sustainability to sustain itself, it had to produce returns that were competitive with other private equity investments. “The market will not scale for concessionary or subsidized returns,” he said. He will have to prove the returns, but so far scale does not seem to be a challenge.

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