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Natixis announces Mirova has entered into exclusive negotiations with Althelia Ecosphere

The projected acquisition of Althelia Ecosphere (“Althelia”) by Mirova is intended to create a European platform dedicated to natural capital investing and give investors access to investment solutions addressing major global environmental challenges such as climate change, protection of landscapes, biodiversity, soil and marine resources.

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Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management dedicated to responsible investing, has entered into discussions to acquire a majority equity interest in London-based impact investment manager Althelia.

Althelia is dedicated to sourcing and financing sustainable land use, biodiversity, and ecosystem-based climate activities, with an emphasis on blended value investments that seek to deliver the highest calibre social, environmental and economic performance. Created in 2012, the manager has successfully raised and partly deployed a fund aiming to invest in carbon emission reduction projects in the forestry sector that generate carbon credits in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Commitments were secured from prominent private and public sector institutions.

The planned acquisition of Althelia would represent a major step forward in Mirova’s ambition to become a leading sustainable alternative asset manager. Since 2015 and as part of its commitment to increase financing for the Sustainable Development Goals, Mirova has been working alongside the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to launch the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund project, a publicprivate vehicle that intends to invest in profit-generating sustainable land management and restoration projects worldwide.

This undertaking would create a European platform dedicated natural capital investing, operating from London and Paris. It would strive to develop innovative investment solutions, through the financing of activities addressing major global environmental challenges such as climate change, protection of landscapes, biodiversity, soil and marine resources. The natural capital platform would benefit from Althelia’s proven technical expertise, recognized know-how and four-year track-record in conservation finance – a great addition to Mirova’s existing project finance capabilities as well as the environmental, social, and supply chain experts already involved in the LDN Fund project. Put together, these resources would provide the strategic vision for growth, strong investment processes, and support functions needed to scale up this natural capital investing business.

Upon completion of the proposed transaction, expected within the next few weeks, the management partners of Althelia would continue to hold a substantial portion of the equity of the business. A progressive withdrawal mechanism would then align medium-term interests and gradually increase Mirova’s stake in Althelia over the next five years.

“We are pleased to partner with Althelia and have tremendous respect for the experience and talent of the team,” said Philippe Zaouati, Chief Executive Officer of Mirova. “We strongly believe that natural capital is the next frontier of impact investment and both specialist skills and a critical size are required to successfully address this nascent but promising market”.

Sylvain Goupille, Founder and Director of Althelia, stated: "Joining forces with an entrepreneurial company such as Mirova, backed by a large organization, is a winning choice in terms of business development and an important step to move ecosystem-based finance into the mainstream investment space.”

“We share the same professional and ethical values as Mirova. The in-depth expertise of its Responsible Investment Research department and LDN Fund project team will complement our on-the-ground experience and commitment to delivering impact in natural capital investing” said Christian Del Valle, Founder and Director of Althelia.

Next Finance , July 2017

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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