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Oregon commits $100m to Tillridge

The investment brings Irving, Texas-based Tillridge to more than halfway towards the fund’s $750m target.

The Oregon Investment Council (OIC) approved a $100 million commitment to Tillridge Global Agribusiness Partners II in December, according to documents accompanying its February 1 meeting.

Investing on behalf of the $68.7 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, OIC’s investment brings Global Agribusiness Partners II more than halfway to its $750 million target. According to its most recent regulatory filing, prior to the December commitments, the fund had raised $309 million as of November 23.

Other investors in the fund include the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement System.

Ben Mahon
Ben Mahon, Oregon State Treasury

Launched last year, Global Agribusiness Partners II will target a 25 percent gross internal rate of return over its 10-year life through investments in midstream sectors including primary and value-chain processing, handling and storage, as well as crop and animal production.

In a recent podcast, Tillridge managing partner Mark Zenuk said that the firm targets smaller, often family-owned companies whose growth has been overshadowed by that of larger companies in the industry.

The previous fund in the series, NGP Global Agribusiness Partners, closed on $402 million in 2014.

The Tillridge team began investing in agriculture from within NGP Capital Management’s Fund X, which closed on $3.6 billion in 2012.

“We got to know the now-Tillridge team through the NGP Fund X fundraise and by monitoring what they were doing in real time,” Oregon State Treasury senior alternatives investment officer Ben Mahon told Agri Investor earlier this month.

Tillridge’s portfolio includes specialty meat processing company Auxano, protein-based animal nutrition company Novita Nutrition and Grower’s Express, a vertically-integrated fresh produce company.