Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is attracting former French president Nicolas Sarkozy into the private equity game, the Financial Times reported this week.
The wealth fund, along with as other investors, have offered to “commit to €500m in total to a fund run by Sarkozy,” the newspaper reported.
But the former president has reportedly not gone through with the plan yet, as he sees a gap in French politics which he may be able to fill, following the decline of President François Hollande’s popularity in recent polls.
“The Qataris are taking an option on the next president of France,” an anonymous source with knowledge of the venture told the FT.
“Mr. Hollande was elected last May after railing against finance on the campaign trail and pledging to tax those earning more than €1m a year at a 75 per cent marginal rate. “France isn’t the United States or the UK,” a source in his inner circle told the paper.
“Mr. Sarkozy receives business proposals regularly and he hasn’t said yes to any yet,” a spokeswoman for Mr. Sarkozy said, declining to elaborate further.
If he does agree to the deal, however, the report noted that Sarkozy would take a non-executive role in the funds, using his political and business connections to originate transactions. He would not invest in the funds himself, the report added.