The moringa sca (sicar) a pioneering agroforestry sector investment vehicle achieves first closing
La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild (CBR), ONF International (ONFI) and the Moringa Partnership team are pleased to announce the first closing of the Moringa S.C.A., SICAR, a private equity investment vehicle dedicated to making investments in sustainable agroforestry projects in subSaharan Africa and Latin America. Agroforestry projects combine forestry and agricultural elements to mitigate risk and produce synergies that lead to strongly positive environmental and social impacts (further information below).
Moringa’s investment strategy is to support the development of agroforestry projects on the basis of successful pilot projects located in targeted countries. Moringa will typically invest between EUR4m and EUR10m per project and aims to scale up its projects and produce stable and profitable agroforestry projects that address both local and international markets.
Moringa projects will produce staple food and export crops, biomass and timber for local and international markets. The Moringa team has a strong and proprietary dealflow pipeline at its disposal thanks to CBR, ONFI and its own networks. ONFI, the technical partner, also contributes its widely recognised forestry and agroforestry expertise and its network of offices in the countries targeted by Moringa.
In addition to providing investors with an attractive return derived from a sustainable portfolio, Moringa projects will routinely seek applicable third party sustainability certification. They will contribute tangible and measurable benefits to local populations such as job opportunities and additional income and facilitate the provision of improved health and schooling. Use of best practice planting techniques and the benefits of the agroforestry approach will leave behind a fertile soil which will enhance the attractiveness of Moringa’s projects.
Alongside CBR, the cornerstone investors (who provided support from an early stage) are FISEAi and the CAF – the development Bank of Latin Americaii. Other investors committing to the first close include the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd (Finnfund), the Fund for Development Promotion of the Spanish Cooperation (FONPRODE), Korys (the investment holding company of the Colruyt family) and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V (FMO). The first closing of the SICAR above the targeted EUR50m puts it well on its way to its EUR100m final target.
Hugo Ferreira, Deputy General Manager of CBR and Chairman of Moringa commented: ‘We are delighted that the Moringa SICAR has reached its first closing. The forward looking strategy of the SICAR will provide a strong platform on which to develop a portfolio of profitable projects with strong environmental and social credentials. CBR is committed to growing its range of private equity funds with an environmental focus and it will contribute its significant financial expertise, unparalleled network and experience of operating in Africa and Latin America to ensure the success of the vehicle. In addition, CBR has made a significant financial commitment as a sign of confidence in the Moringa team and the investment strategy’.
Martin Perrier, CEO of ONF International said: ‘The countries and regions in which Moringa will operate are well known to the ONFI and we have strong expertise and network in the key areas of forestry, agroforestry and agriculture. We will work extremely closely with the Moringa team throughout all phases of the investment process, from deal sourcing through to portfolio company support. Our teams in Africa and Latin America will also be closely involved and the proximity of our staff will enable us to provide strong support to each individual project. The investment by Moringa in commercially viable agroforestry projects will demonstrate the power of this simple technique, which has been practiced at local level for millennia, to generate financial returns and offer an alternative to less sustainable mono-culture approaches.’
Martin Poulsen, Partner, Moringa Partnership, stated that ‘The strong support of the two initiators, the investors, our technical partners, industrial groups and many other supporters has made this first closing possible. We have assembled a strong and unique platform, which will allow us to leverage the skills and experience of our partners, to implement this pioneering investment strategy. Hervé Bourguignon, Partner, Moringa Partnership, added that ‘Sustainability, environmental and social impact are at the core of Moringa. Not only will we produce an attractive financial return for our investors, but in our projects we will implement a partnership-based approach with local communities that will improve livelihoods and generate real, measurable environmental and social impact across our portfolio’.
Moringa will continue to forge additional partnerships with industrial partners, technical specialists and social and environmental experts. Alongside the investment vehicle, a grant-based Technical Assistance (TA) programme, which will contribute to project preparation, capacity building, technical strengthening and dissemination of Moringa’s innovations and achievements, is being established.
The Moringa Partnership SCA
The Moringa Partnership SCA (www.moringapartnership.com ) is the investment advisor of the Moringa S.C.A, SICAR. The Moringa Partnership has offices in Paris and Geneva and is owned by La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild. Moringa S.C.A., SICAR is a Luxembourg law governed risk capital investment company (société d’investissement en capital à risqué or SICAR) accommodating two compartments, respectively dedicated to investments in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild
La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild (CBR – www.ctbr.ch ), part of the Edmond de Rothschild group, was founded by Benjamin de Rothschild to provide customized services for financial risk management. CBR is a leading player in currency risk management and tactical asset allocation. Over the last ten years, CBR has developed a recognized environmental and social financing activity, notably via several investment funds. CBR also enjoys wide recognition for its advisory services in project finance and public-private partnerships (PPP) structuring. CBR has advised on many infrastructure projects on the African continent, each with positive environmental and social impacts.
ONF International (ONFI – www.onfinternational.org) is a subsidiary of the French Office National des Forêts (ONF), successor to the organisation responsible for the sustainable management of French forests since 1291. ONF is a leading forest company in its own right, with 10.5 million ha of forests currently under ownership and / or management, sales of 15 million m3 of wood per year, and a staff of around 10 000 people across 9 countries. ONFI has a staff of 80 specialists in sustainable forest management, reforestation, agroforestry, agriculture, protected area management and land use planning, bioenergy and climate change mitigation. ONFI has a worldwide field presence, especially in Africa and Latin America, provided through its offices, staff and partners.
Note on Agroforestry
Note on Agroforestry: Agroforestry is the spatial or temporal combination of trees and crops or animals, with biological and economic synergies which leads to higher productivity, reduced risk, more stable incomes for local people, and positive environmental impacts.
Tropical agroforestry projects typically combine forestry activities (timber, industrial tree crops or fruit trees) with cattle, staple food crops or niche export crops. This allows projects to achieve profitability earlier and to generate diversified revenues over the long term.