Emmanuel Macron’s re-election as President of France is a welcome sign of stability that should reassure international investors and benefit sectors such as mergers and acquisitions, private equity, real estate and energy, said the main partners in France.
Macron, the leader of a centrist party he founded just five years ago, rebuffed a challenge from far-right leader Marine Le Pen to be re-elected on Sunday evening with 58% of the vote against 42% for The pen.
Although Macron was widely expected to be re-elected for a second five-year term, Le Pen’s relatively strong performance – and an early push from far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon – injected a note of uncertainty. on the direction of France’s economy and foreign policy.
This uncertainty will only dissipate completely after the June legislative elections, when the composition of the new parliament that Macron needs to adopt his program will be known.
“We need to know who will be the prime minister,” said Constantin Achillas, co-partner in charge of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Paris office. “Once we know the color in Parliament, we know what the balance of power will be.”
But the fact that Macron remains president – even if his comfortable majority in parliament dwindles – means the main lines of his platform will also continue, reassuring investors, lawyers said.
“It will unlock decisions,” Grégoire Andrieux, M&A partner and head of McDermott Will & Emery’s Paris office, told Law.com International.
“People, including foreign investors, waited for election results to move forward on projects,” he said. “Based on the number of emails I’ve received from partners and customers around the world, people will view this as a positive development for global politics and global trade.”
Olivier Mesmin, co-partner in charge of BCLP Paris, added that Macron’s re-election was “a first step of reassurance for investors, especially international ones”.
“If Marine Le Pen had been elected, it would have meant that her party would have a serious chance of winning the legislative elections,” Mesmin said. “That would have been a game-changer and a huge effect on our customers’ businesses.”
Under Macron, real estate and private equity have boomed thanks to investment-friendly tax and labor policies that the president has pushed through executive orders – a tool that has been controversial with voters.
“The past five years have been incredible for private equity,” Andrieux said. “The availability of liquidity, including in overseas markets, has produced outstanding results and an impressive level of activity which is expected to continue.”
The energy transition, a subject of sharp disagreement between the two candidates, will also be an area to watch, the lawyers said.
“Macron wants his next prime minister to be in charge of ecology, which probably means there will be an acceleration of reforms related to the environment,” Achillas said. “It will affect many sectors of the economy.”
“Energy redistribution will be a major focus for the next five years, particularly in nuclear,” where a number of major projects are underway and need funding, Andrieux said.