EIF and InvestEU back INOKS Capital-run fund for sustainable food systems

    Date: 11 April 2024
  • European Agri Transition Fund finances small businesses and mid-caps in the farm and food sectors, particularly in Eastern Europe.
  • The EIF has committed €40 million to a fund aiding the transition to a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system in Europe.
  • The EIF investment is backed by the InvestEU programme.
  • The portfolio will be managed by Switzerland-based INOKS Capital.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is committing €40 million to help make Europe’s food system fairer to farmers, healthier for consumers and friendlier to the environment. The EIF financing — provided under the InvestEU programme — will back the European Agri Transition Fund, which supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in the agricultural and food sectors.

The investment fund managed by Switzerland-based INOKS Capital has a target size of between €150 million and €300 million and plans to hold a first closing for professional investors in 2024. It is an innovative investment fund with the goal of accelerating the transition to a fairer and more sustainable agri-food system in Europe.

The fund aims to enhance sustainable production and consumption, particularly in eastern and southern EU countries including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. The beneficiary companies will target these goals throughout the entire agri-food value chain — from input supply, production, and logistics to processing, distribution and waste reuse.

The EIF commitment is backed by the InvestEU programme, which mobilises investment for EU policy priorities such as the green transition and support for small and medium-sized businesses. The programme aims to trigger more than €372 billion overall in additional investment between 2021 and 2027.

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “The InvestEU programme is supporting investments across Europe that will boost the transition to a low-carbon and more sustainable economy. I am glad that today’s agreement will channel financing to SMEs and small mid-caps in support of these EU goals. This is a very good example of how InvestEU helps small and medium-sized businesses to make Europe greener and fairer while contributing to sustainable growth and food security.”

The fund will primarily offer senior debt providing short-, medium- and long-term investments secured by real asset collateral.

“SMEs play a pivotal role in the green transition, in particular in the agri-food sector,” said EIF Chief Executive Officer Marjut Falkstedt. “Sustainable adaptation strategies require funding, and our role is to partner with market players like INOKS Capital to help finance this change. Our investment in this fund will incentivise and enable more climate change friendly agricultural practices across a number of countries.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the EIF as anchor investor of the European Agri Transition Fund,” said INOKS Capital CEO and co-Chief Investment Officer Nabil Marc Abdul-Massih. “We believe that sustainable food and agriculture are critical to the future of our planet, and we are proud to have the support of the EIF in this vision. This partnership will help us to strengthen the EU food system’s resilience, reduce its environmental and climate footprint and provide customised access to capital for smaller corporates that are today’s innovators.”

The fund will address a market need for substantial investments to spur the agri-food sector’s transition through research, innovation, and the adoption of new technologies. Such investments are crucial for fighting climate change and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. The fund serves the major EU objectives of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The European Agri Transition Fund is designated as an Article 9 fund under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). A significant portion of the portfolio companies will support climate action and environmental sustainability goals, in line with the EIF’s criteria. The fund’s approach to its performance fee and financing rate structure aims to ensure that both the investment manager and portfolio companies are incentivised to achieve ambitious impact key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with the EU Green Deal objectives.

The external alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) will be Altarius Asset Management Ltd.

Background information

About European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance and venture capital. The EIF is also active in supporting climate fund investments and infrastructure with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

About InvestEU

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term financing by mobilising significant public and private funds to support a sustainable recovery. It helps generate additional investments in line with key European priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for SMEs. The InvestEU programme brings together a multitude of EU financial tools to support investment by making project financing simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme has three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented via various financial partners. They will invest in projects by using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion to mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investments.

About INOKS Capital SA

INOKS Capital SA has managed collective investment schemes and segregated mandates since 2006, deploying over $7.5 billion in customised funding solutions directly to corporates focusing on the agri-food and agri-fintech sector across the world. The funds under management are used to finance corporates across the agri-food value chain that add value by producing, processing, conditioning and/or distributing agri-food products and ancillary services through different private debt strategies with different risk/return profiles and maturities spanning from short/medium to long term and always backed by collateral. The firm is committed to generating long-term value for its investors while upholding the highest standards of environmental, social and governance criteria. With a global reach and a deep understanding of the markets, INOKS Capital SA leverages its impact framework compliant with Article 9 of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and aligned with the EU taxonomy and impact generation in five defined UN Sustainable Development Goals linked to the four impact themes (poverty reduction, food security, women’s empowerment and environmental quality) to contribute positively to economic development, social impact and environmental stewardship.

About Altarius Asset Management Limited

Altarius is European asset management company regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). It has accumulated over 15 years of experience serving global financial entities. Through a range of tailormade solutions, the company enables clients to establish their own regulated structures. Altarius is also registered with SEC as an investment advisor (exempt reporting advisor) qualified to manage assets in a jurisdiction outside of the United States for US investors.

Press contacts

EIF: Tsvetelia Tsolova, t.tsolova@ext.eib.org, tel.: +359 888 311 435 
Website: www.eif.org — Press Office: +352 4379 21000 — press@eib.org

INOKS Capital SA: Ursula Nitschke u.nitschke@inokscapital.com, tel.: +41 79 768 33 73
Website: www.inokscapital.ch — Follow us on LinkedIn
Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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