The private equity fund dedicated to regenerative agriculture co-created by AXA, Tikehau Capital and Unilever has just made its initial investment of 120 million euros in Biobest, a Belgian group and world leader in biological pest and disease control solutions for the agricultural sector.
To support this investment, Tikehau Capital used AXA Climate’s expertise to assess how much positive impact would be potentially generated through using organic alternatives offered by Biobest to conventional pesticides.
An investment of 120 million euros to reduce dependence on conventional pesticides
Tikehau Capital, AXA’s impact fund partner, has announced an initial investment of 120 million euros in Biobest, a Belgian group specialising in alternative agricultural inputs and world leader in the fight against plant pests and diseases. This injection of capital will finance the acquisition of Biotrop, a Brazilian company specialising in organic solutions for nutrition and the protection of field crops such as soybeans, sugar cane as well as corn.
AXA Climate helps determine the impact of the company’s business ahead of the investment
Tikehau Capital based its decision ahead of the investment on the analysis produced by AXA Climate to determine the net positive impact of the company’s business on the environment.
With this in mind, AXA Climate has produced qualitative and quantitative analyses on the impact generated in terms of biodiversity, soil health, climate, water and human health. The company has also defined key performance indicators to measure its impact.
Regarding the impact on biodiversity, for example, AXA Climate identified the measurement of environmental toxicity prevented through the Environmental Impact Quotient metric (EIQ), an indicator of biocontrol solutions offered to farmers as alternatives to chemical pesticides.
In addition, with respect to the climate, AXA Climate focused on measuring the reduction of CO2 emissions through the use of bio-fertilisers, which are alternatives to conventional fertilisers.
Lastly, AXA Climate, as the fund’s ESG and Impact advisor, will help build and monitor the medium and long-term impact business plan with the company and help the management team to expand upon its positive impact on the environment.
Impact fund announced in May 2022 to begin the transition to regenerative agriculture
As a reminder, in May 2022, AXA, Tikehau Capital and Unilever announced their desire to create an impact fund dedicated to investing in companies which contribute to the transition to regenerative agriculture. After an initial investment of 100 million euros each, the fundraising is underway to reach a target size of one billion euros. The three co-founders of the fund are combining their expertise to promote a major transition to more sustainable agricultural practices and create a positive impact on the environment.
“We are thrilled to back Biobest in this strategic acquisition, aimed at bolstering its growth in Brazil and accelerating its leadership in pollination and biocontrol, driving the shift towards sustainable agriculture. Our partnership with Axa Climate is integral to our investment process and to the environmental and social impact assessment of Biobest. This underlines Tikehau Capital’s commitment to develop a sustainable future”, declared Laurent-David Charbit, Co-Head of Tikehau Capital’s Private Equity Regenerative Agriculture Strategy.
Alice Legrix de la Salle, Impact and Regenerative Financing Lead adds: “We are proud to have contributed to the success of this initial investment whose ambition will enable the expected changes in regenerative agriculture to be brought forward. We firmly believe that the scientific measurement of impact is essential to strengthen the relatively new investment strategy of regenerative agriculture, which touches holistically on the dimensions of climate, biodiversity and water”.
To access the press release in French