BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has expanded into the area of natural capital by taking a majority stake in Danish natural resources specialist International Woodland Company (IWC).

Copenhagen-headquartered IWC oversees €5.5bn of timberland investments globally and also provides investment management and advisory services relating to agriculture and ecosystems, including carbon credits and conservation projects.

BNPP AM said the acquisition formed part of its plans to expand its sustainable investment offering and broaden its private markets investment platform.

David Vaillant, BNPP AM executive committee member, said: “Our investment in IWC is fully aligned with our commitment to be a leading sustainable asset manager, be forward looking on sustainability-related topics with our clients and increase our focus on sustainable investment strategies, especially within private markets.

“It is a key component of our net-zero and biodiversity roadmaps, as well as being aligned with broader BNP Paribas Group initiatives to protect and restore forests and biodiversity, such as Zero Net Deforestation or Act4nature.

“We are seeing growing interest from our clients for investing in forestry as an asset class and via IWC we are very pleased to be able to offer them an enhanced range of sustainable solutions that complement our existing private markets capabilities and contribute to reducing the net-zero financing gap while enabling a just transition for nature.”

Otto Reventlow, CEO of IWC, said: “Both companies share a vision of combining fiduciary duty and active contribution to the transition to a sustainable world.

“We believe that wood is the preferred material in a carbon-neutral world, and agricultural production is on an important path to deliver sustainable proteins to the global citizen.

“This partnership will enable IWC to expand its distribution reach and further its resources on sustainability and the EU taxonomy to the benefit of both our current and future clients.”