The Federal Holding & Investment Company (SFPI)
The Federal Holding and Investment Company was created on 1 November 2006 as a result of a merger between the Federal Participation Company and the Federal Investment Company.
The federal government is the sole shareholder of the Federal Holding and Investment Company.
The Federal Holding and Investment Company (SFPI-FPIM) centrally manages the federal government’s shareholdings, cooperates with the government on specific projects and pursues its own investment policy in the interests of the Belgian economy.
The core business of the SFPI-FPIM, on the one hand as an investment company and on the other hand as a holding company, is as follows:
- investing in companies with an attractive social value in one of the priority sectors, which the SFPI-FPIM has set itself as an objective;
- acquiring equity in companies that are of strategic importance as far as federal policy is concerned, either making use of their own funds or by using funds that the State provides per project. In the latter case, the SFPI-FPIM acts “on a delegated assignment”.
For the 2016 business year, the partitioning of the different segments has led to the following results:
- Investment company: 317 million €
- Holding company: 1.090 million €
- Delegated assignments: 15,8 billion €
The SFPI-FPIM participates in several priority sectors, which it has brought forward since the 2006 merger. In 2015, the sectorial distribution (leaving aside the delegated assignment) was as follows (in % and in million EUR):
A major part belongs to a specifically defined sector. The sector "others" mainly contains the important shareholdings in Bpost and in the National Lottery (date back to before the merger) and in BNP Paribas.
What we do
SFPI-FPIM is the federal public holding company, which fulfills a dual function. It not only acts as an investment company, but also as a government holding company. The investments as a public holding company are done in consultation with the government.
In addition to the public holding function, SFPI-FPIM can also acquire equity in companies at the explicit request of the federal government. These are the so-called delegated assignments.
SFPI-FPIM as an investment company
SFPI-FPIM also wishes to profile itself as an investment company that attaches great importance to socially responsible projects. SFPI-FPIM is looking for the perfect combination of profitability and societal relevance.
SFPI-FPIM wishes to focus mainly on the following economic and cross-cutting sectors:
- Aeronautical industry and airports
- Real estate
- International investments
Since 2012, SFPI-FPIM has extended its strategic priorities to the infrastructure and network management sectors, which play a crucial economic role for the benefit of the Belgian households and companies.
The below equity participations illustrate the investment opportunities that SFPI-FPIM is looking for:
- Société wallonne des eaux
- Comet (garbage treatment)
- Fidentia Green Buildings
- Vesalius Biocapital I (investment fund – medical innovations)
- Nanocyl (nanotubes)
Following the partial renewal of its Board of Directors in November 2013 and after having work de facto in continuity, SFPI - FPIM has performed in 2014 an adjustment of its investment strategy.
FPI-FPIM as a holding company
SFPI-FPIM participates in companies that have a special connection with the State or that are of strategic importance or that relate to privatized government companies.
The below equity participations illustrate this approach:
- Brussels Airport Company
- BNP Paribas
- Nationale Loterij (National Lottery)
- Congrespaleis (Congress Palace)
- SN Airholding / Brussels Airlines
- China Belgium Direct Equity Investment Fund
- Flagey Broadcasting Building
SFPI-FPIM as a government representative (delegated assignments)
In certain cases, SFPI-FPIM’s investments surpass their own means or the investments are barely profitable, but do demonstrate a clear social relevance, which convinces the government to invest.
In these cases, the government orders SFPI-FPIM to make the investment and assumes the resulting expenses itself. In these partnerships, SFPI-FPIM carries out the policy at the explicit initiative of the government. Ever since the 2008 bank crisis, the investments in a number of large financial institutions have been a classical example of this.
As such, SFPI-FPIM and the Belgian State have not only acquired an important equity share in the banking sector (BNPP Fortis (now sold), BNP Paribas, Dexia, Belfius, Ethias Finance – nowadays called Vitrufin), but also in companies such as ASTRID, the network manager for the communication from and between the country’s security services.