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Best of 2014: PE investment into food & agri rises

Private equity firms were more present in packaged food, meats and agricultural products deals than corporates over the past three years.

Private equity firms are increasing their exposure to agriculture and food and were more present in packaged food, meats and agricultural products deals than corporates over the past three years, according to a recent report published by Grant Thornton Australia.

Private equity firms invested in just 14 percent of food and beverage deals overall but had a significant presence in packaged food, meats and agricultural product investments that accounted for 87 percent of their deal flow, according to the data.

The increase comes amid increasing realisation that the private equity sector has largely ignored the agribusiness sector; TIAA-CREF’s John Goodreds, senior director of Natural Resources, recently said that the large institutional investor had just 10 -15 agribusinesses in its entire private equity portfolio in 2010, something he was brought on to change.

 Source: S&P Capital IQ, Mergermarket, Grant Thornton

Half of these deals took place in Europe but emerging economies were a notable piece of the pie; Russian businesses accounted for 178 deals over the three-year period and Chinese businesses represented 90 deals. Some 2,426 deals were recorded globally during the period.

 Source: S&P Capital IQ, Mergermarket, Grant Thornton