Egeli & Co, a Turkish investment group, has been forced to put fundraising efforts on hold in the wake of geopolitical and economic tensions in Turkey and the region more generally, according to managing director Akin Aydin.
The company, which has a $10 million listed agribusiness investment trust, wanted to launch a capital raising for the trust and also launch a new $250 million-$300 million offshore private equity fund to focus on Turkey’s agriculture sector.
But it decided to shelve the fundraising in the wake of financial and political instability in Turkey; a plunging currency and high inflation early in the year preceded the more recent anti-ISIS protests.
“We still aim to raise this capital but we are waiting for good timing, perhaps after next year’s election during the first half of the year,” Aydin told Agri Investor. “Although the geopolitical situation does not help either so nothing is certain.”
In the meantime, Aydin and his colleagues are working on a pipeline of potential deals throughout the value chain from greenfield primary production projects up to consumer food brands. Each deal is not likely to exceed $5 million in size, although the firm will work on larger co-investments.
“There is a lot of room for improvement within the sector such as building economies of scale; investing with an institutional investor mindset can create a lot of value in the sector,” said Aydin. “We are the only agri-focused fund in Turkey. There are some generalist private equity funds that look at the sector but they have no interest in greenfield and development projects.”
Agriculture is an important sector in Turkey because it employs about 20 percent of Turkey’s workforce, he added.
The listed trust is currently invested in by retail investors for the most part but Egeli & Co wants to attract more institutional clients and the offshore fund is most likely to be foreign investors.