Carana Agribusiness in talks with OPIC for $10m loan

Guyana’s Carana Agribusiness is applying to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for a loan.

Guyana’s Carana Agribusiness is applying for a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Maria Martinkov, senior vice president of global operations, confirmed to Agri Investor.

Martinkov said this is the first time Carana has reached out to OPIC for funding.

The Guyana-based aquaculture and agriculture development company expects the application to enter OPIC’s due diligence phase late this summer. It will then start the negotiations for a loan by autumn. If approved, the company will begin to raise equity against the loan and scale out its operations, which are in horticulture and fish farms.

OPIC’s Enterprise Development Network (EDN) Loan Originator Program will be in charge of structuring the loan and the loan will be facilitated by Project Finance Advisors (PFA), a financial advisory firm that works directly on behalf of private companies seeking debt and equity financing from multiple sources.

Carana Agribusiness is a subsidiary of Carana Corp, a development consulting firm that directs business strategy in over 250 projects worldwide. It is currently raising $1.21 million in Series A-1 funding with fundraising platform AgFunder. The company’s projects in agribusiness aim to improve incomes, economic growth and food security.

It raised $200,000 in seed capital in 2014 to build two 30-acre anchor farms, Agri Investor learned. Charlie Stadtlander, an OPIC spokesperson, told Agri Investor that the $10 million issued to first-time applicants is not considered as “a large amount”, because OPIC’s minimum loan size is $350,000 and the maximum is $250 million.

OPIC in March invested in Ukrainian agriculture and in April committed $20 million to an Indian multi-sector social impact debt provider to boost the country’s food & agriculture, microfinance, affordable housing and small business lending. Last month, the US government’s development finance institution said it is seeking to invest $400 million in more than a dozen emerging market private funds for sustainable investment strategies, including agriculture.