European private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners has invested in France Valley, a specialist asset manager in the forestry and agriculture space with €4 billion in assets under management. Financial details were not disclosed, but a source with knowledge of the deal said it valued France Valley at more than €300 million.
There have been a number of examples of private markets firms increasing their exposure to natural capital, either by launching specific natural capital strategies or by strategic acquisitions of natural capital businesses. What makes this deal unusual is that it is a purely financial investment from a buyout fund.
It is also unusual to see one private markets firm invest in another; while there is a burgeoning market for “GP stakes” investing, these tend to be specialist funds set up solely to back general partners.
From the press release: “Founded in 2013 and based in France, France Valley offers two main investment solutions – investment funds in Natural Assets (forest and vineyards) and funds investing in SCPI real estate usufruct, a specialist structured real estate leasehold product – to a diversified investor base comprising institutional investors, individual investors via wealth management advisors, private banks and family offices. France Valley manages over 29,000 hectares of forest in France and Europe, as well as vineyards in Champagne.”