A regenerative agriculture transition venture created by Tikehau Capital, AXA and Unilever, has invested €120m in Biobest, a global biological pest and disease control company.

Tikehau Capital said the private equity regenerative agriculture strategy created late last year is investing alongside Biobest’s existing shareholders including M&G, Unigrains and Sofiprotéol to help fund Biobest’s acquisition of Biotrop.

Biotrop is a Brazilian company specialising in biological solutions for crop nutrition and protection in open fields.

The transaction marks the first investment of Tikehau Capital’s private equity regenerative agriculture strategy.

In May last year, AXA, Unilever, and Tikehau Capital announced plans to create a private equity impact strategy dedicated to investing in projects and companies supporting the regenerative agriculture transition. At the time the three partners said they intended to invest €100m each, and will also be open to investors who wish to participate and benefit from the platform, with a target size of €1bn.

Laurent-David Charbit, co-head of Tikehau Capital’s private equity regenerative agriculture strategy, said the combined resources and expertise of Tikehau Capital, AXA and Unilever will empower Biobest to expedite its global expansion and contribute significantly to the shift towards sustainable agriculture.

Emmanuel Laillier, head of private equity at Tikehau Capital, said: ”We are excited to announce our first investment in Biobest, a project that seamlessly aligns with our private equity impact strategy.

“We remain committed to meeting the growing financing needs of companies dedicated to preserving soil health, offering sustainable products and advancing solutions that accelerate this vital transition.” 

Jean-Marc Vandoorne, CEO of Biobest, said: “The acquisition of Biotrop marks a significant milestone for Biobest, further solidifying our successful M&A strategy alongside our robust organic growth.

”With the backing of Tikehau Capital’s private equity regenerative agriculture strategy, in conjunction with the strategic partnership with AXA and Unilever, Biobest is poised to expedite its expansion efforts, making a substantial contribution to agriculture while fortifying our preeminent position in sustainable crop management.” 

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