Aqua closes debut fund on $173m

Latin America-focused Aqua Capital will invest in mid-market agribusiness and food companies in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and other South American countries.

Aqua Capital has closed its debut AGF Latam Fund on about $173 million, surpassing its $150 million target, according to a statement from the firm. The fund had a hard-cap of $200 million.

The firm’s agribusiness & food fund received commitments from the Corporacion Andina de Fomento in Venezuela and the Inter-American Development Bank, according to Private Equity International’s Research and Analytics division. Other limited partners came from the US, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

Touchstone Group and North Sea Capital acted as placement agents for the fund.

Aqua’s first investment came in September 2011 when it backed Brazil-based family company Comfrio, which operates cold-storage and foodservice logistics for brands like Starbucks and Outback Steakhouse throughout the country. The firm has also invested in micronutrients supplier Aminoagro.

Aqua plans to hold these two investments for about four to six years, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The firm expects to make between four and six additional investments from the fund, the source told PEI.

Aqua focuses on the agribusiness value chain – not primary production or farmland investments – which is to grow substantially over the next decade from increasing local demand tailwinds in the commodities market.

Sao Paulo-based Aqua was founded in 2009 by Sebastian Popik, former founding partner of Pampa Capital and Jorge Ahumada.