French investment company Mirova, the subsidiary of Natixis Investment Managers, has acquired Kenya-based solar finance business SunFunder to expand its investment platform in emerging markets such as Africa. Mirova wants to accelerate financing of the environmental and energy transition in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
Following the acquisition, the entire SunFunder group will be retained to continue high energy transition work and build emerging market platforms dedicated to renewable energy and climate investments. The Co-founders of SunFunder, Audrey Desiderato, and Ryan Levinson, said that together with Mirova they become the leading clean energy investor in emerging markets, through new investments through real impact.
SunFunder is well known among the renewable energy sector players in Africa. In recent years, the fund manager has increased their investment in electrification via solar photovoltaic energy. The company has provided a $4 million loan to solar home systems provider Yellow to support a rural electrification project in Malawi.
Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova, commented, “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. We are delighted that SunFunder’s teams, with their proven experience and expertise, are joining us. Together, we will pursue our efforts to meet the needs of the real economy and increase the impact of our investments.”
Mirova, which is taking over SunFunder’s assets in Africa, will continue to make impact investments on large scale, through a new initiative that will also cover Asia and Latin America. The subsidiary of Natixis Investment Managers will be launching a debt fund dedicated to solar energy-based electrification, with an investment capacity of $500 million across around 70 projects. The new investment fund is expected to reach its first financial close by the end of this year.
With this transaction, Mirova enters the fast-expanding renewable energy market in Africa. The investor and its subsidiaries manage more than €27 billion ($28.5 bn) of assets in several companies across the world.