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Arlon’s LatAm fund invests in Brazilian frozen veg company

The food and agribusiness private equity fund has bought a significant stake in Grano Alimentos.

Arlon Group, the food and agribusiness private equity fund, has acquired a significant stake in Grano Alimentos, a Brazilian frozen vegetable producer.

The investment was made out of Arlon’s Latin America fund which made a first close on $150 million in 2013. The fund is still fundraising for a $250 million target and until now has mostly attracted family office capital.

The size of the deal was not disclosed although Arlon usually invests a maximum of $30 million.

Arlon has a wide definition of food and agriculture across its two funds; it closed a US-focused food and agri fund in 2011 on $335 million and is set to launch a $400 million Fund II later this year.

All of its funds are anchored by Continental Grain, the seventh-generation US grain trader that Arlon spun out of in 2008 as an investment arm. The first fund was also anchored by Rabobank, which was seeking exposure to the US agriculture market.

The definition includes companies throughout the food value chain into retail.

Grano was founded in 2000 and sources vegetables year-round from local producers in the Rio Grande do Sul region, according to a press release. It sells them packaged to food service, retail, private label and industrial clients throughout Brazil.

“Arlon brings significant operating experience and networks in food and agriculture in Brazil. They fully understand Grano’s business, and importantly, are fully committed to supporting Grano’s growth,” wrote Grano founder chief executive Edi Deitos in a press release.

The transaction comes as Deitos steps down as chief executive making way for Roberto Denuzzo, a food sector veteran that has worked at Bunge, the global agribusiness, and SADIA, a Brazilian food producer. Latterly he founded a consultancy firm.

Arlon’s last transaction was a $250 million investment into Door-to-Door Organics from its US food and agri Fund I which is now over 70 percent deployed.