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Mirova set to take a majority stake in Althelia Ecosphere

The acquisition is expected to close in a few weeks and over the next five years Mirova would increase its stake in the Luxemburg-based fund manager.

The deal could put serious money behind Althelia’s model of forest conservation projects based on both carbon credits and sustainable commodities such as rubber in Indonesia, cocoa in the Ivory Coast and cattle in Brazil.

France-based Mirova is an $8 billion unit of Natixis Global Asset Management, which has nearly $900 billion under management.

Financial News reports the Althelia team would help Mirova raise €1 billion for a Land Degradation Neutrality fund, in conjunction with the United Nations.

The European Investment Bank and France’s AFD are backing the fund, which will seek investments from pension funds and other institutional investors.

“We strongly believe that natural capital is the next frontier of impact investment,” Philippe Zaouati, Mirova’s CEO, said in a statement. “Specialist skills and a critical size are required to successfully address this nascent but promising market.”

Althelia’s Sylvain Goupille called the deal “an important step to move ecosystem-based finance into the mainstream investment space.”

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