Investments

2015 has been challenging in terms of new investments. Although a number of concrete opportunities were investigated and negotiated, none of these converted into an actual investment. The first reason for this is the limited pipeline at the start of 2015, following the fund’s very active first operational year. The second reason is that the market for investments has become highly competitive, as the low interest rate environment leads to a strong search for returns. Despite the unique and attractive characteristics of the fund, other interesting propositions have entered this market, such as family offices, who can also offer mission-aligned and patient capital. Another source of competition is crowdfunding. As a result of the increasing number of capital providers, the fund may have to offer a higher valuation for the prospective investee company, while at the same time accept weaker terms, for example in relation to information provision and minority controls.

Since February 2014, Triodos Organic Growth Fund holds 20% of the shares in Aarstiderne A/S (Danish for ‘the Seasons’). Aarstiderne is an organic box scheme company with 135 full-time employees. It delivers over 35,000 meal boxes per week in Denmark and Sweden via a subscription service to a base of more than 55,000 customers. This frontrunner in the Danish organic food sector offers both traditional boxes containing organic fruit and vegetables and – since five years – boxes containing measured ingredients, including meat and fish, for the preparation of specific meals, with recipes included. Triodos Organic Growth Fund acquired its shares from one of the founders of the company, who continues to hold the majority of the shares. The remaining shares are held by the members of the management team. The deal structure includes an earn-out mechanism for the founder, reflecting the growth expectations for the company while ensuring a fair entry price for the fund.

Fund data, December 31, 2015

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Source: RBC Investor Services Bank S.A. and Triodos Investment Management B.V.

Total assets

EUR 32,567,983

Net assets

EUR 30,086,325

Net asset value per share (Q-dis)

EUR 102.34

Number of equity investments

2

Number of subordinated loans

0

Number of countries

2

 

 

 

Asset allocation (% of fund’s total assets), December 31, 2015

Source: Triodos Investment Management B.V.

In June 2014, Triodos Organic Growth Fund acquired a 20% stake in Triaz Group GmbH. Triaz is the leading German mail order company and online retailer for sustainable consumer goods and has a strong client base of over 750,000 active customers. The group currently operates the Waschbär, Mini-Bär, Vivanda, and PranaHaus brands. Together, these platforms sell over 10,000 sustainable products, including organic clothing, shoes, jewellery, natural cosmetics, household goods, furniture and toys; environmentally sound and healthy products for almost every aspect of daily life. Triaz is active in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands and employs circa 350 people. The shares were acquired from the owner of the company, who continues to hold the remaining shares.

Sustainability as a core value

In the fourth quarter of 2015, Triodos Organic Growth Fund implemented a new impact measurement tool, which is based on an existing platform developed by B Analytics. The tool combines customised impact metrics specifically for the fund, with generic metrics already developed by established organisations for impact investing, including IRIS, the metrics of Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and B Analytics’ Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS).

The GIIN is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments in companies, organisations and funds have the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. IRIS is managed by GIIN and is the catalogue of generally-accepted performance metrics that leading impact investors use to measure the social, environmental, and financial performance of their investments. IRIS metrics align with a number of third-party standards, and proprietary metric sets. B Analytics Impact Assessment (BIA) is a tool to assess a company’s overall social and environmental performance. It does so by measuring the impact of businesses on all stakeholders through an online, easy-to-use platform, and a comparable GIIRS.

The fund’s impact measurement tool includes custom impact key performance indicators relating to environmental, social and governance practices of its investees and their impact on the supply chain, such in relation to the fund’s main impact goals:

  • Decrease the environmental footprint of consumer goods production and stimulate biodiversity;
  • Improve the wellbeing of consumers and the people who produce consumer goods;
  • Support best-in-class sustainable companies as value-adding, longer-term, mission-aligned private equity investor that adheres to the Principles of Responsible Investment, an investor initiative in partnership with UNEP Finance Initiative and UN Global Compact.

This measurement tool will be implemented in the course of 2016.

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