CDC in Miro Forestry follow-on deal

28 Aug 2020

CDC Group, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor, has announced a further US $12 million commitment to Miro Forestry, a sustainable forestry and timber business with plantations in Ghana and Sierra Leone. This fundraising round, which includes participation from four other investors, has successfully raised a total of US $48 million at close.

This latest investment by CDC builds on an existing commitment which has supported Miro in planting about 17,000 hectares (ha) of FSC approved eucalyptus, teak and acacia plantations, across Ghana and Sierra Leone. CDC’s latest commitment will facilitate Miro Forestry’s plans to reach c.25,000 ha within the next five years, placing the business on track to become the largest sustainable integrated plantation forestry business in West Africa.

Miro’s large integrated forestry business is helping to reduce pressure on natural forests and protect ecosystems and livelihoods, by sustainably meeting Africa’s growing demand for wood. As such supporting plantation forestry is essential in addressing and combating the impact of climate change on local environments and communities across Africa – where deforestation and forest degradation is still increasing due to agricultural expansion, illegal logging and other reasons (see FAO report: State of the World’s Forest 2020).

Moreover, the investment from CDC and other investors will enable Miro to maintain about 2,000 formal direct jobs, a number expected to more than double over the coming years, and countless indirect ones in remote areas.

This investment in Miro strongly demonstrates CDC’s commitment to working towards alignment with the Paris Agreement, and to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, both in its portfolio and in each new transaction. The additional commitment to Miro’s climate-focused business, will contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on: Climate Action (SDG 13), Decent Work And Economic Growth (SDG 8), Life On Land (SDG 15), and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9).

Jean-Guillaume Habay, Director & Head of Food and Agriculture Equity Investments, at CDC, said:

“We feel energised to continue supporting Miro Forestry, in its mission to sustainably meet the demand for timber in West Africa while providing lasting employment to local people. CDC is committed to supporting the business to operate to high sustainability standards that helps to combat environmental degradation. The success of Miro’s fundraising round demonstrates a determination from all partner investors to back businesses that are actively combating climate change, helping to enhance the quality of lives of local peoples through job creation and resulting economic growth.”

Andrew Collins, CEO of Miro Forestry, said: “CDC has been an excellent stakeholder in Miro for a number of years, dramatically contributing to Miro’s growth and success to date. We are therefore delighted by their continued expertise and this new capital provided by CDC which will help us develop into a fully vertically integrated plywood and timber products group. Producing such sustainable industrial timber products in West Africa helps to create permanent jobs, reduces pressure on unsustainable timber sources, provides domestic timber supply for construction and infrastructure development, and substitutes imports thus supporting balance of trade. Further it will help to incubate a sustainable forest products industry. Timber demand is growing worldwide and particularly in West Africa thus our partnership with CDC, a large scale and preeminent catalyst of African development is an enormous benefit to Miro and its future legacy”.

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