Mirova announces the launch of its first impact private equity fund

Published on 09/29/2021 Press releases

Mirova, the affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to sustainable investing, today announced the launch of its Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital fund1

Mirova

Mirova is pursuing its approach as a responsible impact investor through its new pan-European private equity fund, the Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital fund, which aims to invest in companies providing sustainable innovative solutions and technologies contributing to the environmental transition. The fund aims to raise €300 million from institutional and private investors. 

The fund and its team also benefit from the support of the responsible investment research team, which has been analysing the sectors and actors of the environmental transition for almost 10 years.

Mirova already has a reputation as a significant player in unlisted impact financing, through investment strategies in energy transition infrastructure, social and solidarity companies, and natural capital project financing. 

The move comes on the eve of the first Anniversary of the formalisation of Mirova’s corporate mission, which aims to demonstrate that asset management companies should aspire to a profound transformation of the economy towards a fairer and more sustainable model.


Providing capital to accelerate the environmental transition 

The world is faced with urgent, global and interconnected environmental challenges: global warming, air, water and land pollution, non-sustainable resources exploitation, waste, food and water insecurity, deforestation, biodiversity loss... Solutions exist, but they need financing to scale up and become sustainable and replicable business models.

Along with public markets investors, Mirova believes that private equity investors have a critical role to play in the “decade of action” with less than 10 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fulfil the annual financing gap of $2.52 trillion  needed. 

As green infrastructure has developed into a mainstream asset class and the venture capital (VC) benefits from a dynamic and flourishing ecosystem, the next generation of impact investments opportunities are expected to be in the “Acceleration capital” stage. Capital injection is critical to scale up innovations and businesses with virtuous, environmentally-positive business models.

With the firm’s impact private equity strategy, the ambition is to participate in the environmental transition of the economy while pursuing the objective of a financial return by:

  • deploying acceleration capital for scaling up sustainable businesses; 
  • addressing megatrends that provide tailwinds for growth; 
  • supporting innovative solutions and technologies.

Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital 

The fund aims to invest in five main investment themes: smart cities, natural resources, agri-agro technologies, circular economy and clean energy. 

The target companies will have the following profile: 

  • a business model directly addressing at least one of the targeted SDGs;
  • mature innovative solutions and technologies;
  • companies implementing or willing to implement strong ESG4 standards;
  • companies with a proven business model;
  • companies which are profitable or almost profitable;
  • a transaction in which the majority of the proceeds will be used for a capital increase to accelerate the company’s growth.

The fund is classified as "Article 9" under the new European regulation (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation4).

An experienced team of investors within an impact investment platform

Marc Romano, Head of Private Equity Impact, joined Mirova's team in July 2021 to launch this new strategy, after having worked with the company to define this project. His team will consist of five people with collective experience in all stages of investment, combined with a passion for impact and long-standing involvement in the creation of impact business models5

The team will benefit from Mirova’s impact investment platform which today totals up to €2.3 billion6  in investments in unlisted assets. This platform provides know-how in investing in unlisted high-impact companies and projects, thanks to the mobilisation of numerous resources and expertise in the Energy Transition Infrastructure, Natural Capital, Solidarity and Sustainability Research teams. 

Marc Romano, Head of Private Equity Impact at Mirova, says: “I am delighted to have joined Mirova to carry out this new strategy, which is in every way complementary to the company's expertise. We are convinced that private equity investors have an essential role to play in facilitating the development of impact business models, by providing capital that drives the acceleration of innovative companies and the solutions they offer to environmental challenges.”

Anne-Laurence Roucher, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Mirova adds: "Since its creation, Mirova has aimed to facilitate the transition to a sustainable economic model that meets social and environmental challenges through innovative and impactful investment solutions. It was natural for us to add to our expertise a strategy dedicated to private companies."

The fund has just made its first investment in Ombrea, a company specialising in the management and protection of crops against climatic hazards combined with the production of photovoltaic electricity.

[1] Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital is a French limited partnership (société de libre partenariat- French Specialized Professional Fund, AIF) composed of several separate sub-funds, open to new subscription to eligible investors as defined by the fund’s regulation. Mirova is the management company. The supervisory authority approval is not required for this fund. Each investment is subject to risks, including the risk of capital loss.
[2] Source: United Nations - Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum
[3] Environmental, Social and Governance

[4] The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) aims to provide greater transparency in terms of environmental and social responsibility on the financial markets, in particular by providing information concerning the sustainability of financial products (integration of risks and negative impacts in terms of sustainability).
[5] As of September 2021, the team consists of two employees. Two are expected to join Mirova in Q4 2021 and two are currently being recruited.
[6] As of June 30, 2021