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ESG investor Capricorn buys stake in fellow sustainability house Osmosis

Deal also sees Capricorn seed new US strategy with $30m

US-based sustainability specialists Capricorn Investment Group has bought a 13% stake in fellow ESG house Osmosis Investment Management, in a deal designed to bolster Osmosis' expansion into the US market.

Capricorns Sustainable Investors Fund, which focuses on seed investments in the sustainability and impact space, has taken 13.1% equity in the London-based firm for an undisclosed sum, joining the Oxford Endowment Fund – which runs money for Oxford University in the UK – as a large minority shareholder in Osmosis.

Off the back of the deal, Osmosis will launch its debut US fund, the Osmosis Sustainable Market Neutral Strategy, mirroring an existing UCITS fund it offers in Europe that takes long positions in the most resource efficient firms while shorting resource-heavy ones. Capricorn has agreed to seed that strategy to the tune of $30m, in addition to its equity investment in the fund manager itself.

Osmosis launched in 2009 and currently has $1.3bn under advice or management.

Capricorn, launched in 2001, manages around $5bn on behalf of families, foundations and institutional investors, including the Skoll Foundation – set up by eBay-President-turned-philanthropist Jeff Skoll.

As part of the transaction, Michaela Edwards, a Partner at Capricorn will take a seat on the Osmosis board.

The Oxford Endowment Fund first took at stake in Osmosis in 2012, which it increased last year. It now owns 14.97% of the firm.