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Aqua Capital surpasses $250m target for second fund

Agribusiness Latin America Fund II will primarily target investments in Brazil, with plans for secondary investments in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Colombia.

Sao Paulo-based private equity firm Aqua Capital has raised $300 million for its second fund and expects to reach its hard cap of $350 million during the second quarter, sources confirmed to Agri Investor.

The Agribusiness Latin America Fund II was launched in 2015 with an initial target of $250 million and plans to solicit investments from investors in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia, according to a regulatory filing.

The fund, which reached a first close on $188 million in March, counts the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) among its investors, according to a list of the $36 billion endowment’s active investments as of November 2016 seen by Agri Investor.

A market source told Agri Investor that the Agribusiness Latin America Fund II will look to establish seven or eight sub-sector focused platforms of between $20 million and $75 million, each of which will make one or two control equity investments of between $5 million and $30 million.

The fund will focus on mid-market food and agribusiness companies across the supply chain in Latin America, with a particular focus on the inputs sector. It will not make farmland or other production asset investments.

The fund, which ultimately targets annual returns of more than 20 percent, with a primary focus on Brazil, plans to make secondary investments in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Colombia.

Aqua’s previous fund closed on $173 million in 2013 and is currently over 90 percent deployed. That fund attracted investments from the Inter-American Development Bank, Corporacion Andina de Fomento of Venezuela and other investors in the US, Latin America and the Middle East.

Founded in 2009 by former Pampa Capital founding partner Sebastian Popik, Aqua typically invests in companies with between $15 million and $150 million in annual revenues. The firm’s portfolio companies include additives supplier Yes, cold-storage logistics provider Comfrio and Aminoagro, a micronutrients supplier.

Aqua declined to comment.