CPPIB leads financing tranche for animal-free dairy company, appoints senior advisor for Europe

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Waffle cones with tasty raspberry ice-cream on blurred background, closeup © seraniy /123RF Stock PhotosThe Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is leading a new tranche of financing for animal-free dairy company, Perfect Day Inc.

The financing marks an expansion of Perfect Day’s series C financing to $300 million, of which the CPPIB’s thematic investing group is set to contribute $50 million.

The California-based company uses fermentation to create proprietary dairy protein that can be used in foods like non-dairy ice cream and butter.

“This marks the first investment into thematic investing’s new climate change opportunities strategy, which will focus on innovative companies that are well positioned to respond to the challenges posed by climate change,” said Leon Pedersen, managing director and head of thematic investing at the CPPIB, in a press release. “Sustainable technologies like Perfect Day are poised to capture structural shifts in industrial practices, physical resources and consumer preferences for environmentally conscious options, which are well-suited to our long-term investing approach. We look forward to building our partnership with the company and its management team.”

In other news, the CPPIB is appointing Guillaume Pepy as senior advisor for Europe. In his new role, he’ll engage with multiple European investment teams, providing council on the portfolio for the region. “Guillaume’s deep expertise, understanding and network across the private and public sectors in France brings great value to our investment strategy in the region,” said Alain Carrier, senior managing director and head of international at the CPPIB, in a press release. “All of our investment teams at CPP Investments can benefit from his counsel and we are looking forward to him joining our team.”

Most recently, Pepy was chairman and chief executive officer of France’s national railway, SNCF, where he began working in 1993 as its chief strategy and investment officer. His appointment was effective on July 1.

“Supporting CPP Investments’ long-term strategy in Europe and across the world represents an exciting opportunity for me,” said Pepy. “I look forward to sharing my operating and strategic experience at the heart of Europe with the team at CPP Investments.”

In other news, the CPPIB’s  president and chief executive officer Mark Machin is one of six Canadian executives to be named a 2020 Catalyst Honours Champion for accelerating progress for women in the workplace. “Attracting, developing and retaining talented women is particularly important to CPP Investments’ success as a high-performing global organization,” said Machin, in a press release. “I’m honoured to receive this award from Catalyst, which is great recognition of the entire organization’s commitment to diversity. It also acknowledges the outcomes we are delivering not only within CPP Investments but also in the organizations in which we invest.”

Currently, the CPPIB’s senior management team is 36 per cent women. During 2019, it achieved its goal of equal representation of women in the hiring process, with women now making up 46 per cent of its global workforce.

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