Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) said Monday it will acquire global investment firm KKR and other shareholders’ stakes in GreenCollar, an Australian environmental markets platform.

The duo said in a statement that they have signed a definitive agreement for the deal. The financial terms of the transaction, however, were not disclosed.

Ontario Teachers’ first became an investor in GreenCollar in March 2022.

With this latest investment, Ontario Teachers’ deepens its relationship with GreenCollar, taking on a significant majority stake in the Company, with GreenCollar Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder James Schultz continuing to lead the business and remaining a significant shareholder.

Ontario Teachers’ Natural Resources group, which is part of the Infrastructure and Natural Resources department, has significant experience investing in agriculture, aquaculture, timberland, and natural climate solutions, including in Australia where it has a large agriculture portfolio.

“We are pleased to increase our investment in GreenCollar and to continue supporting James and his team in their mission to restore and enhance natural capital in areas like biodiversity and water quality,” said Christopher Metrakos, Senior Managing Director, Natural Resources at Ontario Teachers’.

According to him, GreenCollar is a proven leader in delivering positive environmental outcomes with market-based solutions.

“We are excited to continue supporting the company in its next chapter of growth in Australia and beyond,” he added.

Meanwhile, GreenCollar Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder James Schultz said that the firm looks forward to its deepening relationship and collaboration with Ontario Teachers’ and tapping into their knowledge and expertise in the natural resources sector.

KKR first invested in GreenCollar in 2020 as part of its Global Impact strategy, which focuses on companies that contribute measurable progress toward one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a certified B corporation and provider of environmental initiatives that reduce the impact of climate change, GreenCollar’s core business directly contributes toward SDG 13 (Climate Action) and supports other sustainable goals, including SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 14 (Life Below Water).

GreenCollar is the first Global Impact Fund investment to implement a broad-scale employee ownership plan.

Once the transaction has completed, all employees at GreenCollar will share in the proceeds from the sale under a program that aims to build stronger companies and drive greater financial inclusion through employee ownership and engagement.

“GreenCollar is a great example of a solutions-oriented business that KKR looks to support through our Global Impact strategy, addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges such as climate change,

“Together with James, Ontario Teachers’ and the whole team at GreenCollar, we have made great strides in advancing GreenCollar’s important mission,” said George Aitken, Managing Director and Head of KKR Global Impact, Asia Pacific.

“It’s been a fantastic journey. We strongly believe that an ownership mentality among employees can build a stronger culture, create a more engaging experience, and ultimately drive stronger business performance – and the results speak for themselves here,

“Going forward, we are confident that Ontario Teachers’ and the team will continue building on that success,” he said.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

KKR was advised by Gilbert & Tobin and UBS. Ontario Teachers’ was advised by Baker & Mackenzie and EY.

GreenCollar is a profit-for-purpose organization, and the leading environmental markets project developer and investor across the climate, water quality, biodiversity and plastics markets in Australia.

Founded in 2011, GreenCollar works with landowners and managers throughout Australia to develop projects that create commercial opportunities by generating environmental credits, while caring for the environment.

Ontario Teachers’ is a global investor with net assets of CAD 249.8 billion ($184.93 billion) as at June 30, 2023.

The firm invests in more than 50 countries in a broad array of assets including public and private equities, fixed income, credit, commodities, natural resources, infrastructure, real estate and venture growth to deliver retirement income for 336,000 working members and pensioners.

The firm has more than 400 investment professionals in offices in Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, Singapore and Toronto.

KKR is a global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions.

The firm aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities.

KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds.

Its insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group.

Malaysia’s Gentari rebrands WIRSOL Energy to officially commence operations in Australia