American Farmland Company to launch IPO – exclusive

The private farmland real estate investment trust is set to announce plans for an IPO in two weeks.

American Farmland Company, a US farmland real estate investment company (REIT), is set to announce its IPO in the next two weeks, Agri Investor has learned.

The REIT, which has at least one UK local authority among its investor base, has invested at least $131 million into 17 farms comprising 11,000 acres, according to local reports. But Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings show the investment company may have raised over $220 million in total since launching in 2009. Its latest filing in January this year detailed a $5.25 million capital raise from December.

The REIT owns and leases permanent cropland including development assets, row crop farmland and vegetable land across West, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast US.

The firm was established by hedge fund veterans Thomas Gimbel and Dixon Boardman in 2009 when it launched a $100 million offering, according to local reports at the time.

It is a joint venture between Optima Fund Management, Boardman’s hedge fund; the Fanjul family, one of the longest standing agricultural businesses in the US; LeFark Organisation, a real estate development firm; and William von Mueffling, founder of Cantillon Capital Management, according to the website.

The company also teamed up with Prudential’s agricultural investment arm ­– Prudential Agricultural Investments – which is sub-advisor to the firm providing loans and farm management services, the site reads.

American Farmland Company officials would not comment on the upcoming IPO, citing SEC regulations.