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Aqua Capital’s first fund 80% deployed — exclusive

The investment comes on the heels of reports that Aqua Capital has launched a second fund targeting $300 million.

Private equity fund Aqua Capital has deployed 80% of its first fund and acquired a controlling share of Brazilian animal feed additives manufacturer Yes.

The deal follows reports that the São Paulo-based firm has raised $188 million for its second fund. The new fund’s investors include the University of Texas Investment Management Company and German development firm DEG, according to the New York Times. It has a target of $300 million and a hard-cap of $350 million. Aqua’s managing director Sebastian Popik would not confirm details of the second fund, citing marketing regulations.

The firm closed its debut AGF Latam Fund on about $173 million in 2013, surpassing its $150 million target. Popik said that fund is about 80 percent deployed.

Yes makes additives like mycotoxin adsorbents, prebiotics and organic mineral complexes, which it exports to 14 countries. With the financing, company will open two new plants in São Paulo state and expand production to four types of prebiotics by the end of next year.

Popik said Yes is the only company in Brazil to make sought-after chelated minerals, which are complex minerals more easily absorbed by animals. He added Yes would be the only company in the world to make four different prebiotics.

Aqua Capital targets companies with growth potential in the agribusiness, food, and logistics chain and has $400 million under management, according to the release. Investors include endowments and funds of funds.

The agribusiness private equity firm frequently makes consolidation plays, for example by creating the largest cold storage group in Brazil when it merged portfolio company Comfrio Soluções Logísticas with Stock Tech Logística in 2015. Last year Aqua Capital bought fertiliser producer Dimicronas as an add-on to bio-stimulants specialist Aminoagro, which it added to its portfolio in 2013. The combined partnership has made them one of Brazil’s largest foliaceous fertiliser platforms, according to Aqua Capital.

Additional reporting: Clare Pennington