Impact Investing

What is impact investing?

Impact investing seeks to achieve financial returns in conjunction with beneficial and sustainable social and/ or environmental impacts. Impact investments thereby provide capital that helps to address social and/or environmental issues whilst building sustainable businesses that create value for investors.

How can we help?

Michelmores has a long track record of advising clients who are investing and operating in this market, both domestically and overseas – our clients include private equity funds, corporates, development and other financial institutions, foundations and charities, and high net worth individuals.

The team has particular experience of working on complex cross-border impact investment transactions in the emerging and frontier markets.

Our specialist impact investment team is made up of a cross-practice group of lawyers, and we have an established network of partners in overseas markets who can provide additional expertise when needed.

Sector-specific expertise includes:

  • Renewable energy/clean tech
  • Financial services/microfinance
  • Agribusiness and food
  • Forestry
  • Insurance
  • Real estate and affordable housing
  • Manufacturing

Our impact investing services include:

  • Private equity investments
  • Fund equity investments
  • Loan and investment programs
  • Establishment of appropriate vehicles
  • Regulatory advice
  • Charity and philanthropic objectives

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations has set an agenda for sustainable development, with the aim of eradicating poverty, and addressing climate change, rising inequality and cutting unsustainable production and consumption. They have set 17 goals and 232 specific targets to be achieved by 2030.  Many of our clients not only endorse these but actively seek to achieve them in their investment activity - we provide support in incorporating these goals into their investment frameworks. Find out more about the latest UN's sustainable development agenda here

Michelmores’ is my ‘go to firm’- they add real value and complete deals in an efficient and practical way.
Fund Manager, Bamboo Finance's Financial Inclusion Fund
We’ve worked with Joe across all our Funds and share a long, trusted history.
Stuart Bradley, Phatisa
a well-established and growing boutique emerging markets practice
Legal 500 2019

Recent experience

Agribusiness/ Food

  • Phatisa Fund Managers on a number of investments by the African Agriculture Fund, including (i) Farming and Engineering Solutions, a Malawi based agricultural engineering and equipment distribution company, and (ii) Feronia Inc, a palm oil producer in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • AgDevCo, a social impact investor and project developer focused on the African agriculture sector, on a number of equity and debt investments, including (i) Eco Farm, a greenfield organic sugar and livestock project development in Mozambique, and (ii) Equity for Tanzania, a Tanzanian finance company which provides SME businesses with equipment leases.

Financial Services / Microfinance

  • Advising M-Birr Limited, who operate the leading mobile payments business in Ethiopia, in connection with a multi-$m equity investment by the European Investment Bank, DEG and Finnfund.
  • Global Innovation Fund on its growth finance investment in Paga, a leading Nigerian mobile money business.
  • Triodos Investment Management on two of the largest recent Asian microfinance exits, namely: (a) the sale of its stake in the Cambodian ACLEDA Bank plc to ORIX Corporation, Japan; and (b) the sale of its, and Bamboo Finance’s, respective stakes in Mongolian XacBank to several buyers, including International Finance Corporation.
  • FMO and Finnfund on their respective equity investments into mBank Philippines in order to fund the provision of microfinance services through mobile technology.
  • Mauritius Commercial Bank on its multi-$m loan facility to an East African mobile microfinance company.

Sustainable Forestry

  • Arbaro and FMO in relation to their respective equity investment in, and debt facility to, Miro Forestry.
  • FMO, Finnfund and Norfund on the refinancing of their respective debt investments in a leading East African sustainable forestry company.
  • Finnfund on its investment into Proteak, a sustainable forestry operation in Mexico.
  • FMO and Finnfund on several debt investments into New Forests, an East African sustainable forestry group.

Renewable Energy/ Clean Tech

  • Social & Sustainable Capital LLP (‘SASC’) in relation to the funding of a community solar farm, operated by a community interest company. SASC provided the junior debt for the on-going project, with the senior debt being provided by a local authority, (whom we also advised). In addition, we advised SASC in a similar matter concerning Severn Community Energy One CIC, also a community solar farm project, where SASC was junior lender to Triodos Bank.
  • Bamboo Finance and DOEN Foundation on two rounds of investment by each of them into BBOXX Ltd, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of solar powered battery packs used to improve access to energy across the developing world.
  • Finnfund on its senior loan facility (alongside Deutsche Bank) in Mobisol, a leading player in decentralized solar electrification in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Sunbird Bioenergy on the acquisition from AOG of a controlling stake in a pioneering bioethanol and green electricity operation in Sierra Leone by a group of global investors led by Sunbird.
  • Triodos Corporate Finance in respect of the exit of its EIS fund investments, River Cottage, Hammars Hill and Sunroof Solar.
  • Thrive Renewables Plc on a £10 million bond issue, raising funds for investment in renewable energy projects across the UK. Thrive worked with Abundance and their crowdfunding platform for a portion of the bond, raising money both through crowdfunding and through their traditional investment routes.
  • Finnfund in relation to its project financing of Methax, an LNG fired power station in Argentina.
  • AgDevCo on its project financing of a run-of-river hydroelectric plant in Tanzania.

Real Estate

  • Advising the Pan African Housing Fund (managed by Phatisa) on a number of debt and/or equity joint ventures with property developers across sub-Saharan Africa for the development of lower income housing, including in Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and Mozambique.

Fund Formation

  • Advising Gatsby with regard to the establishment of Msingi, an East African innovation fund established by Gatsby and the UK Government.
  • Assisting AgDevCo with the establishment of Lending for African Farming (LAFCo), a facility to finance agricultural enterprises that work with smallholder farmers.
  • Advising Phatisa, the manager of the Pan African Housing Fund (investors include AfDB, CDC and FMO), with regard to the restructuring of PAHF.
  • Currently advising on a number of impact investment fund initiatives targeting sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The establishment of the Sierra Investment Fund, and its subsequent investment into Splash Mobile Money, Sierra Leone’s first mobile payment system.