* Says financial terms will not be disclosed
* Says transaction to close in coming weeks
Feb 22 (Reuters) - U.S. agricultural commodity trader Bunge on Wednesday said it will buy UK-based investor Climate Change Capital (CCC) for an undisclosed price after the transaction was approved by the UK’s financial regulator earlier this week.
The sale comes at a time when the balance sheet of CCC, a once high profile investor in carbon offsets, has been damaged by a plunge in the benchmark U.N.-backed carbon price to a record low below 4 euros ($5.31) a tonne late last year.
The UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) approved the transaction on Monday, while CCC has obtained the required shareholder approvals for the deal to proceed, Bunge said in a joint statement with CCC.
“The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks; financial terms will not be disclosed,” the statement said.
Last week, James Cameron, founder and vice chairman of CCC, told Reuters the company was being sold “at a low point” in its valuation.
In that interview Cameron declined to say how much Bunge will pay to take full ownership of CCC, but acknowledged the price will be below 50 million pounds ($78.34 million).
The U.N. carbon market, which awards carbon credits to qualifying low-carbon projects mainly in the developing world, has seen a record issuance of credits over the past year at a time when demand has been choked by flagging growth prospects.
Apart from its businesses as an environmental investment manager and advisory group, CCC is a major investor in projects earning so-called certified emission reductions (CERs) under the Kyoto Protocol.
Like CCC, Bunge Financial Services Group has been active in carbon markets, both as a buyer of carbon credits and an advisor to other market participants.
“The transaction builds on this long-term presence, combining two established players in sustainability markets and advisory services to create an organization with deep expertise and global reach,” said Daniel Rudolph, a managing director at Bunge.