Robeco to raise $500m China-focused sustainable fund

Rabobank’s asset management arm and the city of Tianjin will launch a private equity fund focused on sustainable investments in China.

Robeco, a division of Dutch bank Rabobank, has entered into a private equity joint venture with TEDA International. TEDA is a subsidiary of Tianjin Investment Holding and manages all the financial assets of the Tianjin Government.

Robeco TEDA Investment Management Company will provide a platform for business development in China, focused on Tianjin, Robeco said in a statement. It will also launch the Robeco TEDA Sustainable Private Equity Fund, which will raise between $200 million and $500 million from Chinese institutional investors, a Robeco spokesman told Dow Jones.

The planned fund will be denominated in RMB and will focus on sustainable investments. It will be operated out of the Tianjin Binhai New Area, a Special Economic Zone consisting of various industrial parks and the Tianjin port.

It will make investments in companies that develop technologies which increase the productive use of energy, water and other resources; technologies which reduce waste and emissions; and in technologies that create economic value for Chinese companies through lower costs.

The success of the fund will rely on TEDA’s positioning and Robeco’s investment capabilities in sustainable private equity, said George Möller, the chief executive officer of Robeco Group.

In recent years, the Chinese government has emphasised the need for sustainable economic growth, Robeco said. It has also set goals with regards to energy and water consumption, pollution and waste treatment.

Robeco Private Equity is currently in the market with Robeco Responsible Private Equity II, a fund of funds targeting €250 million ($364 million) for investments in private equity funds whose investments adhere to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. It is also raising a cleantech fund.

Robeco and TEDA International could not be reached by press time.