Blue Road seeks $500m in first agri buyout fund

Blue Road will also seek co-investment capital before its target closing date in March 2016. The fund's first investment was the National Pecan Company.

Agriculture and commodities investment firm Blue Road Management is seeking $500 million and substantial co-investment capital for its first buyout fund, which will invest in agricultural production and supply-chain companies.

The firm was reported to have already raised $148.8 million by the beginning of November, and $150 million in co-investment by 10 November. Blue Road principal and founder John Duryea told Bloomberg that Blue Road aims to close fundraising by the end of March 2016.

In August, Blue Road invested $250 million in fruits and vegetables distributor Vanguard Capital to develop a global vertically-integrated fresh fruit and vegetable organisation, as Agri Investor reported.

The firm held a first close on $35 million in July last year, and its first investment was vertically-integrated pecan supplier National Pecan. The company bought Texan company Young Pecan in mid-November and Georgia’s Poulan Pecan in August.

The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board has committed $30 million to the new fund, which is charging 1.75 prercent in management fees and 20 percent in carried interest according to Bloomberg. The San Mateo County Employees Retirement Association has committed $15 million, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.

Duryea left Ospraie in 2012 and started Blue Road in January 2013. He joined Ospraie from Goldman Sachs in 2005, where in 2008 his group closed a $2.1 billion deal to buy ConAgra’s commodities trading and merchandising operations.