Arable acquires second Californian irrigation company

The acquisition of Lodi Pump and Irrigation follows the firm’s purchase of Hydratec earlier this year.

Arable Capital Partners, a food and agribusiness private equity firm backed by the Washington State Investment Board, has acquired California-headquartered Lodi Pump and Irrigation for an undisclosed price.

Capital for the investment came from Bellevue, Washington-headquartered Arable’s debut fund, named Arable Capital, which closed on $300 million last August after securing a single commitment from the $129 billion WSIB.

Managing director Greg Richards told Agri Investor at the time that the vehicle’s strategy is focused on midstream assets on the US West Coast and ancillary businesses related to the produce, specialty crop and tree-fruit industries in the region. Richards added that the firm intends to make both majority and minority investments and hold positions for as long as 15 years or longer.

Family-owned LPI provides drip and sprinkler irrigation systems and related services in California. Its customers include producers of grapes, almonds, walnuts, olives and other row crops.

The company’s current president, Steve Borra Jr, will remain in his role and said that LPI quickly saw a good “cultural fit” with Arable.

“Steve has grown LPI by entering new markets and adding additional product offerings,” said Arable managing director Derek Yurosek, who previously served as head of agriculture operations for Cottonwood Ag Management, the agriculture asset management team for BMGI/Cascade Investments, the private holding company for Bill and Melinda Gates. “We are excited to partner with Steve and continue to invest for the long term.”

Arable’s acquisition of LPI marks its second irrigation investment, following its April acquisition of Hydratec, another California irrigation business.

Other investments from Arable’s fund have included fruit processors Fresh Innovations California and Farmington Fresh Cuts, which the company plans to merge.

Arable declined to comment further.