OTPP anchors Goldcrest’s $300m fund

Partner and co-founder of fund manager Goldcrest Farm Trust Advisors Edward Hargroves said the fund has already begun deploying capital.

Goldcrest Farm Trust’s $300 million fund is anchored by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the farmland investor’s fund manager has confirmed to Agri Investor.

The real estate investment trust completed fundraising for the Goldcrest Farm Trust Fund II last week, with “the majority” of commitments coming from pension funds.

Goldcrest Farm Trust is managed by Goldcrest Farm Trust Advisors, whose partner and co-founder Edward Hargroves told Agri Investor in an email exchange that OTPP would reprise the role it played in the REIT’s Fund I. The 2015-vintage vehicle raised “over $300 million” and is now fully invested.

Hargroves added that Fund II has already begun deploying capital but did not specify into which assets it has invested, or the size of the investments.

The GFTA partner said the fund’s strategy is to “buy, improve, lease and manage high-quality row crop farmland in the US.”

GFTA’s management team includes the former founders of AgCoA, a private farmland REIT that was recently acquired by the Gates Foundation.

Since Goldcrest Farm Trust’s launch in 2015, it has acquired approximately 70,000 acres across the US.

Hargroves said in a statement from Goldcrest Farm Trust: “The recent volatility in agricultural markets has created exciting investment opportunities across the United States and the long-term case for investing in the farmland asset class continues to become more compelling every year.”

“We are grateful for the ongoing trust and additional capital commitment from our shareholders.”

In a separate development at the start of 2019, OTPP acquired Washington-headquartered Broetje Orchards at an undisclosed price. The vertically-integrated company produces 17 varieties of apples and pears on more than 6,000 acres of land.