WEST AFRICA – The Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO has announced its recent additional transaction with Miro Forestry, one of the largest forestry plantations in West-Africa. 

The transaction consists of a conversion of FMO’s existing US$10m mezzanine debt into a redeemable preference share funded by the Building Prospects Fund, and a further US$5m share funded by the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD).  

CDC, Finnfund, and Mirova, amongst others, also participated in this financing package. With this financing, Miro will expand its planted area, and set-up its plywood and pole production facilities. 

“We are proud we can continue to support the development of sustainable forestry in Africa which is key for job creation, surrounding communities, CO2 sequestration and reducing deforestation,” Linda Broekhuizen, FMO’s CIO, said. 

“With our financing, Miro can sequester approximately 500.000 tons CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of driving ~100,000 passenger vehicles for one year. By investing in Miro we are thus another step closer to reaching our zero-emission target by 2050.” 

Miro develops timber plantations and at the same time conserves environmentally sensitive areas. Its total planted area consists of over 17,000 hectares of eucalyptus, acacia, gmelina and teak across Ghana and Sierra Leone. 

Miro’s plantations will target a growing market with favourable dynamics, but they will also make a contribution to easing pressure on the over-used natural forest resources in the region. 

Having successfully planted and developed the plantation for over 10 years, Miro is building its industrial capacities as its forest will soon produce a strong and steady flow of wood to be converted into high value-added products such as plywood and poles. 

“FMO has been an investor in Miro for a number of years and we are now delighted to have FMO invest further into the business. FMO have been a very strong partner to date and we look forward to further developing Miro with their support,” Andrew Collins, Miro’s Chief Executive Officer said. 

“Whilst maintaining the quality of our plantations, we are now focused on rapidly developing our timber processing operations to develop into a vertically integrated, profitable, timber products company, with a major focus on plywood for the local, regional and export markets. This is a particularly important task as the overall success of Miro will be a bellweather to the sub-Saharan African sustainable forestry and timber products industry,” he said. 

“This is an industry sector which requires greater investment into the successful operators producing certified timber products for sustainable economic return, industrial development and balance of trade in the region, which remains one of the most attractive globally,” he added. 

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