Mirova and Althelia Ecosphere in talks to become the European leader in natural capital investing
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.
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 public-private 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.
Note to the reader:
This document is being circulated as an information-only document and does not constitute an offer, a proposal, or a solicitation to investors to invest in the land degradation neutrality fund, (the “LDN Fund”). This document does not represent a commitment on the part of the Secretariat and the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention Desertification (“UNCCD”) and Mirova to structure the Fund described herein, nor any other fund.
About Althelia Ecosphere
Althelia Ecosphere is mission driven to design and implement a new model that will reverse depletion of natural capital – one that works for the benefit of present and future generations of life on Earth. This model aims to address the drivers of deforestation and unsustainable land-use. Through a focus on blended¬ value investments that deliver the highest calibre social, environmental and economic performance, we aim to demonstrate that financial performance can be fully aligned with sound environmental stewardship and social development.
Althelia manages investment funds with a diverse portfolio of investments from Africa, South America and Asia that comprise of real assets (certified commodities and agricultural produce) and environmental services (verified emissions reductions and other ecosystem services). Althelia is a founding member of the GIIN – Global Impact Investing Network and part of IA50
Mirova, an asset management company wholly owned by Natixis Asset Management1, brings to bear almost 30 years of experience in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Mirova offers a conviction-driven approach in order to combine value creation with sustainable development with a unique and global product offering: listed equities, fixed income, infrastructure, impact investing, voting and engagement. With 63 employees, Mirova has €6 billion in assets under management2.
1 Since 01.01.2014.
2 Source : Natixis Asset Management as at 30 June 2016
A subsidiary of Natixis Asset Management
Limited liability company
Share Capital: €7 641 327.50
Regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) under n° GP 02014.
RCS Paris n° 394 648 216
21 quai d’Austerlitz 75013 Paris France
Natixis Asset Management
A subsidiary of Natixis Global Asset Management
Limited liability company
Share capital €50,434,604.76
Regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) under no. GP 90-009
RCS Paris n°329 450 738
21 quai d’Austerlitz 75634 Paris Cedex 13