Paine & Partners hires former Potash COO

The agribusiness and food-focused firm, which has invested 20 percent of its $893m Fund IV, has appointed former Potash chairman as strategic advisor.

Food and agribusiness-dedicated firm Paine & Partners has appointed former Potash Corporation of Saskatchwan chief operating officer David Delaney as its strategic advisor.

Potash, the world’s largest fertiliser company by capacity, is now in talks with agricultural products and fertiliser conglomerate Agrium to merge.

Delaney will identify and execute investment opportunities in the upstream segment of the food and agribusiness value chain, and serve in leadership roles at acquired companies.

“David has a deep knowledge of agricultural inputs and brings a strong track-record of driving growth and achieving operational excellence in the agribusiness industry,” said P& P partner Kevin Schwartz.

Delaney said he would bring new perspectives to help develop and execute on new investments, as well as enhance growth and operations at portfolio companies.

P & P is currently investing through its oversubscribed $893 million P & P Fund IV, which is dedicated to agribusiness. By March, the firm had spent 20 percent of its $893 million Fund IV to add three portfolio companies, paying about $180 million to buy biological pest control producer AgBiTech; Spearhead International, which supplies PepsiCo and Danone; and speciality vegetable seeds producer and distributor Suba.

The firm held a final close for the fund in January 2015. Its investors include Minnesota State Board of InvestmentThe State of Rhode Island and Providence PlantationsMaine Public Employees Retirement SystemUniversity of Texas Investment Management Company and Rhode Island State Treasury.