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Marina Capital Group targets $250m for new agri investment firm

Hal Berger, principal with Marina, told Agri Investor that the company's primary mandate will be to act as 'an accelerator for companies in need of growth capital and operating experience to take their companies to the next level.'

Marina Capital Group is seeking to raise $250 million to invest through Agri Capital Company (ACC), a newly-launched agri investment company. 

ACC will focus on private equity opportunities in middle-market food and agriculture businesses, deploying equity growth capital, mezzanine debt financing and land financing, as well as acquiring agri brands and food companies.

Hal Berger, principal with Marina, told Agri Investor that the company’s primary mandate will be to act as “an accelerator for companies in need of growth capital and operating experience to take their companies to the next level.”

A view from California's Central Valley
A view from California’s Central Valley

Berger said ACC came as a result of Marina having served as an advisory group to a number of farmers, growers and distributors in California’s Central Valley over the past decade.

He anticipates the company’s primary funding coming from that same community, while a portion of the capital raised will come from additional agricultural groups overseas, hedge funds and international capital sources.

“A number of the family-owned farm companies mention that they were not looking to actually sell their company but they would be very interested in alternative investments opportunities that are in a field they are familiar with: ag,” he said.

The fund will seek to provide a return on investment of 10.7-plus percent, with a 5-8 year exit for the investment company. However, Berger said that because ACC is not a fund it will offer more flexibility than “a private equity fund model that has pressure on time horizons for exits and institutional investors.”

The first acquisition, a $10 million to $20 million investment in a fruit farm, will be under contract this month and will serve as “a platform and case study to exemplify how our group will grow the company’s investment and build value for ag and food-related companies,” he added.