Natixis Investment Managers affiliate Mirova has bought a specialist private debt firm that finances renewable energy projects in Africa and Asia as part of the asset manager’s push into emerging markets and real assets.
Mirova, which oversees €27bn of assets, has acquired SunFunder — originally set up 10 years ago as a crowdfunding platform to offer financing solutions for the solar energy sector in Africa.
Over the past decade, SunFunder has launched a series of finance investment vehicles and has overseen $165m of investment across 58 companies, deploying clean energy mainly in Africa and Asia.
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SunFunder’s 28-strong team, which is spread across Nairobi, Paris and London, will join Mirova following the acquisition and help it build a broader emerging markets platform dedicated to clean energy and climate investments.
The deal comes as Mirova, known for its impact investment expertise in Europe, is looking to build its footprint in emerging markets.
“In order to thoroughly address the challenges that come with the fight against global warming and social inequalities, having a local presence in emerging countries is critical,” said Philippe Zaouati, chief executive of Mirova.
Following the acquisition, Mirova and SunFunder plan to launch a solar energy debt financing fund, with an investment capacity of $500m through about 70 projects spread across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“This acquisition is an important step for our affiliate Mirova, which falls in with our 2024 strategic plan, and contributes to strengthening Natixis Investment Managers’ private and alternative asset offering,” said Tim Ryan, CEO of Natixis Investment Managers.
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