Unifin becomes the third partner in Mexico, receiving a senior loan of USD 45 million, including USD 40 million from eco.business Fund and USD 5 million from Calvert Impact Capital
The funding will help finance sustainable crop production under protected agriculture, water harvesting and treatment systems, among others, and will support the development of Unifin's sustainability strategy.
Luxembourg, Washington, and Mexico City, 09 November 2021 – The eco.business Fund has announced its largest investment to date, a USD 40 million loan to the Mexican non-bank financial institution (NBFI) Unifin. An additional USD 5 million has been mobilized from Calvert Impact Capital. Unifin will use the financing to support agribusinesses in implementing measures that contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources and generate a positive environmental and social impact.
Unifin specializes in small and medium enterprise (SME) finance, servicing over 9,100 clients in México. It is estimated that the efficiency measures Unifin finances will save more than 65% of water per ton of product, reduce fertilizers and pesticides by as much as 67% per ton, and avoid up to 60% of CO2 emissions per ton.
The financing will help finance sustainable crop production under protected agriculture, water harvesting and treatment systems, among others, and will support the development of Unifin's sustainability and agribusiness strategy. The financing marks a milestone in the development of the company´s sustainable strategy and seeks to contribute to the development of sustainability in the company and its clients' operations.
This deal also expands the investment partnership between eco.Business Fund and Calvert Impact Capital. In addition to its investment in eco.business Fund, Calvert Impact Capital is committed to mobilizing capital, alongside the Fund, through loan participations. The partnership is designed to amplify eco.business Fund impact in Latin America, bringing additional funding to the fund’s partners. The use of loan participations is an innovative way to put additional impact capital to work in support the eco.business Fund in its mission of promoting business and consumption practices that put sustainable environmental practices at the core of their operations.
“Unifin has received our largest loan to date, and we expect that, thanks to their extensive record, the funding will generate substantial positive environmental impact through water savings, and more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices, such as drip irrigation systems,” said Dr Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund. “We are also very pleased to partner with likeminded partners such as Calvert Impact Capital on an investment like this, as we believe participation loans are an innovative finance mechanism to mobilize new funds, which not only boosts biodiversity conservation, but will also support green finance.”
Catherine Godschalk, Vice President of Investments for Calvert Impact Capital, said, “We are very pleased to be a part of this transaction, in alliance with eco.business Fund and Unifin, to advance conservation of the planet’s natural resources and promote economic development through sustainable agricultural practices.”
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors. The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ.
Unifin is a leading NBFI in Mexico, specialized in SME, offering leasing, factoring, commercial and vehicle lending solutions, as well as brokerage for leased assets and structured finance. The company serves more than 9,100 customers nationwide through its 19 branches and its digital platform. Unifin’s operations are located across Mexico’s key productive and industrial regions, and in Mexico's fastest growing geographic areas, including Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Yucatan. With consolidated assets of approximately USD 4.55 billion, Unifin is the largest independent leasing company in Mexico.
About Calvert Impact Capital
Calvert Impact Capital invests to create a more equitable and sustainable world. Through our products and services, we raise capital from individual and institutional investors to finance intermediaries and funds that are investing in communities left out of traditional capital markets. Throughout 25-year history, we have mobilized over $2 billion of investor capital. Calvert Impact Capital also offers loan syndications, that are originated, structured and administered for institutional and accredited lenders seeking environmental and social impact. To date, we have syndicated and/or administered more than $300 million of capital for impact-oriented transactions.
Find more at calvertimpactcapital.org.
Media contact eco.business Fund
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-171
Media contact Unifin
Investor Relations Director
Phone: +55 5249 5800 ext. 5805
Media contact Calvert Impact Capital
Name: Cat Ulrich
Title: Director, EMC Communications
Phone: (831) 252-0792