Mirova is expanding its emerging markets real assets impact investment platform with the acquisition of a renewable energy projects finance company.

The Natixis Investment Managers affiliate said it has acquired private debt management company SunFunder in a bid to accelerate its “ambition to become a global leader in impact investing”. The price was not disclosed.

SunFunder was founded 10 years ago as a crowdfunding platform to offer financing solutions for the decentralised solar energy sector in Africa. Since then, the company has launched a series of blended finance investment vehicles and closed over $165m (€157m) in investments across 58 companies deploying clean energy mainly in Africa and Asia.

Mirova said the plan with SunFunder is to launch a $500m solar energy debt financing fund to target about 70 projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, adding an initial closing for the fund could take place by the end of the year.

Mirova already pursues impact investing in Europe through its investment strategies in energy transition infrastructure, private equity, social impact investing and listed equities. Mirova and its subsidiaries manage €27bn of assets including €2.2bn in energy transition infrastructure and €500m in natural capital.

Mirova said the acquisition of SunFunder accelerates its commitments in emerging countries, where it is already present in natural capital. Mirova is developing an emerging markets investment platform, in which the Singapore office created in 2021 will be integrated, the investment company said.

“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,” said Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova.

“Together, we will pursue our efforts to meet the needs of the real economy and increase the impact of our investments.”

Tim Ryan, CEO of Natixis Investment Managers, said: “This acquisition is an important step for our affiliate Mirova, which falls within our 2024 strategic plan, and contributes to strengthening Natixis Investment Managers’ private and alternative asset offering.

“Our clients around the world looking for diversification and sustainable sources of return will now have easier access to impact investments in emerging markets.”

Audrey Desiderato and Ryan Levinson, co-founders of SunFunder, said: “We couldn’t imagine a better partner to join forces with than Mirova, a company with a mission and strong culture of impact that we share.

”We’ve heard a lot of talk about ESG investment, but there are very few companies like Mirova and SunFunder leading the pack with 100% truly sustainable investments.”

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