The Global Environment Fund (“GEF”) is an international investment firm that acquired a majority ownership of Kilombero Valley Teak Company (“KVTC”) on behalf of the GEF Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund.
GEF was founded on the principle that private capital could have a positive impact on the environment and economic development while at the same time realizing attractive returns for its investors. GEF has been successfully pursuing this mission since its founding in 1990. GEF has been actively investing in the forestry sector since 1999. GEF has made forestry investments in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Chile, Argentina and Malaysia.
In 2010, GEF established a dedicated fund, the GEF Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund (“ASFF”), to invest in forestry businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. This fund was established on the believe that the demand for forest products, both within Africa and around the world, will continue to grow, and that many African countries provide attractive and competitive growing conditions for forests. GEF believes that its forestry investments in Africa will earn attractive profits for its investors, while also having positive impact on the environment and on the communities near its forests.
In addition to our investment in KVTC, ASFF has already invested in forestry businesses in South Africa and Ghana, and anticipates making several additional investments in Africa
GEF’s investors include many of the leading development finance institutions from North America, Europe, and Africa. Commonwealth Development Corporation (“CDC”), the founder and former owner of KVTC, is a lead investor. FinnFund, which has been a minority investor in KVTC since 2000 and will remain a shareholder alongside GEF, is also an investor in ASFF. Other notable investors include the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”, the private sector arm of the World Bank), DEG (the German development bank), Proparco (the French development bank), and MAEC (the Spanish development ministry). In addition, ASFF has some small private investors, and is in advanced discussions with a number of private pension funds.