Exclusive: Inocucor to hit close on Series B days after debut acquisition

Cash provided by existing investors will be used to seal the ATP deal, which the biostimulant maker’s CEO hopes marks the first of a series of strategic purchases.

Inocucor Corporation, a North American company that develops biological crop inputs, is set to reach a final close on its Series B funding round in the coming days.

The milestone will come shortly after the firm’s first strategic acquisition, announced yesterday, said Don Marvin, president and chief executive of Inocucor. The purchase of ATP Nutrition, based in Manitoba, Canada, will be paid for in cash provided by existing investors, he told Agri Investor. Transaction value was not disclosed.

Inocucor kick-started its Series B in 2015, achieving a C$38.8 million ($30.8 million; €25 million) first close led by TPG Alternative and Renewable Technologies in March 2017. That capital was earmarked to help fund a new US headquarters, boost production at Inocucor’s Montreal pilot production and R&D facility, and increase staff.

The company then hit a $9.5 million second close spearheaded by California-based Pontifax AgTech that included Canadian firms Cycle Capital Management and Desjardins Innovatech as well as Denver-headquartered Cairn Investments, all of them existing investors in the company. That milestone brought the total capital raised by Inocucor to $48 million.

With its first acquisition, the company is seeking to expand its customer base by complementing its biostimulant offering with plant nutrients, ATP’s focus. “New product formulations,” said Jarrett Chambers, president of ATP, will “balance macro and micronutrients with biologicals for agriculture.” He reckoned that would allow both companies to expand into new geographies and crop markets.

Marvin told Agri Investor that the deal would likely be followed by further acquisitions, which he numbered at potentially three-to-four over the next four-to-five years.

“This is our first one, and it’s an important one to us. We want to demonstrate to [our financial sponsors] that we know how to do strategic acquisitions, how to integrate them well,” he said. “There are a number of companies that we follow. This will not be the last acquisition we do.”