BGH Capital acquires majority stake in Hazeldenes Chickens

The firm has bought Hazeldenes, its first agribusiness asset, via its inaugral A$2.6bn fund.

Private equity firm BGH Capital has acquired Hazeldenes Chickens in its first foray into agribusiness.

Hazeldenes is one of Australia’s largest chicken producers, with a portfolio that includes 11 breeder farms and 38 broiler chicken farms, as well as a hatchery and processing facilities.

The company sold more than 75 million kilograms of chicken in financial year 2020, generating revenues of more than A$300 million ($223 million; €193 million).

The value of BGH Capital’s acquisition has not been disclosed. Both BGH and Hazeldenes declined to comment beyond an official statement.

BGH will take a majority stake in the business, with the Hazeldene family retaining a minority stake.

Agri Investor understands the deal was made through BGH Capital’s inaugural fund, BGH Capital Fund I, and is the firm’s first deal in the agribusiness space. However, two of the firm’s three founding partners have experience of the sector from previous roles with TPG Capital, which has been a prominent investor in Australia’s largest poultry producer, Ingham’s, for many years.

BGH Capital was founded in 2017 by Ben Gray and Simon Harle, who led TPG Capital’s private equity team in Australia and New Zealand, and Robin Bishop, who was previously head of Macquarie Capital in Australia and New Zealand.

BGH Capital Fund I held the first close on approximately A$2.6 billion in May 2018, which the firm says makes it the largest private equity fund focused on Australia and New Zealand that is actively deploying capital.

According to affiliate title Private Equity International, the fund backs companies with enterprise values ranging from A$250 million up to A$6 billion, “where there is significant opportunity to support growth or effect operational improvement,” said a BGH statement. It primarily targets mid-market transactions with the flexibility to execute large buyouts or smaller growth deals.