TriLinc backs agri sector with $28m in loans

Nearly the entire $28.4 million in loans the impact investment firm approved in March went to support companies operating in the agribusiness and food-related sectors in emerging markets.

TriLinc Global, a California-based impact investing firm, in March approved $28.4 million in term loan and trade finance facilities supporting companies in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Of the total, $27.6 million went to companies active in the agribusiness and food sectors, nearly double the amount the firm allocated to those sectors last July.

According to a statement from the firm, the company receiving the largest share of funding – $12 million – was an oilseed distributor in Argentina.

An Ecuadorian shrimp exporter received $8.1 million, while TriLinc funded six transactions of another Ecuadorian company – a tuna processor and exporter – totaling $2.1 million.

In Asia, TriLinc funded $5 million as part of a new $15 million senior secured three-year term loan commitment to a Malaysian wholesale distributor engaged in the procurement of chemicals, fast moving consumer goods, and food and agricultural related products.

In addition, TriLinc funded five transactions totaling $339,675 on a family-owned citrus producer in Uruguay, which specializes in growing, processing, packing and exporting citrus fruits, juice concentrate and essential oils.

All funding was made through the TriLinc Global Impact Fund, which as of March 31, totaled $313 million. “The fund has the ability to raise up to $1.5 billion in total,” TriLinc’s chief executive Gloria Nelund told Agri Investor.

Nelund declined to disclose the names of the recipient companies.

Of the 33 companies in TriLinc’s fund portfolio, 15 are active in the agricultural and food-related sectors.

As of March 31, 2017, current total loan commitments amounted to $283.1 million. However, as of February 28, 2017, total aggregate investments funded since the fund was launched in 2013 stood at $522.3 million, Nelund said.

According to the statement, the funding will enable the recipient companies to increase production, expand into new export markets, increase their workforce and offer employees competitive wages, health services and childcare support.

“TriLinc’s recent investment activity demonstrates how we are continuing to deepen our relationship with companies that are driving economic development through enhancing trade opportunities worldwide,” Nelund said in the statement.

According to its website, TriLinc selects only those investments “with potential to improve society while still generating competitive returns.” Its mission is to demonstrate the role that the capital markets can play in helping solve some of the world’s pressing economic, social and environmental challenges by investing in small- and medium-sized enterprises in developing economies.