OTPP to acquire Australia-based GreenCollar’s shares from KKR, others

OTPP to acquire Australia-based GreenCollar’s shares from KKR, others

Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) has agreed to acquire more shares of Australian environmental markets platform GreenCollar, paving the way for exits by US-based private equity firm KKR and other shareholders.

Founded in 2011, GreenCollar is a profit-for-purpose business working across the carbon, water quality, biodiversity, and plastics markets.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but a company’s announcement said OTPP will possess a significant majority stake in GreenCollar. Its CEO and co-founder James Schultz will continue to lead the business and remain a significant shareholder.

OTPP first invested in GreenCollar in March 2022. By then, the pension scheme put in A$250 million for a 33% interest, The Australian Business Review reported. Meanwhile, KKR had earlier invested A$100 million for a 49% stake, then sold down to 33%, the publication added.

The latest investment is led by OTPP’s Natural Resources group, which oversees a large agriculture portfolio in Australia.

The C$249.8 billion investor operates its Australian agriculture subsidiary AustOn Corporation, which has acquired Mitolo Family Farms, Aroona Farms, Jasper Farms, and Pomona Valley in the country.

The pension fund will “continue supporting James and his team in their mission to restore and enhance natural capital in areas like biodiversity and water quality”, said Christopher Metrakos, Senior Managing Director, Natural Resources at OTPP.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

GreenCollar has carried on its international expansion, including its plastic recovery projects in West Africa and the Pacific, cook stove projects in Southern Africa, and its forest protection projects in Southeast Asia.

KKR invested in GreenCollar in 2020 as part of the PE firm’s Global Impact strategy. “GreenCollar is also the first Global Impact Fund investment to implement a broad-scale employee ownership plan,” it said.

KKR claimed that since 2011, more than 35 companies in its portfolio have awarded billions of total value through broad-based equity programmes to over 60,000 non-senior employees.

In Australasia, KKR opened its Sydney office in 2007 and has invested in sectors including healthcare, financial services, technology, food and beverage, consumer goods, infrastructure, and real estate.

Under the Global Impact strategy, in this region, the firm has also invested in New Zealand’s Education Perfect. Other impact investments in the Asia Pacific include Indian environment management services firm Re Sustainability Limited and seed company Advanta Seeds, Malaysian energy savings solutions provider Barghest Building Performance, and Vietnamese education group EQuest.

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Author: Christeen Mcnaught

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