Two LPs sell stakes in LatAm agri fund

Aqua Capital's $173m fund has backed companies including Comfrio, which operates foodservice logistics in Brazil for brands like Starbucks and Outback Steakhouse.

Two institutional investors sold their stakes in Aqua Capital Partners’ AGF Latin America fund last month, according to UK regulatory filings.

Kalat Investments, a Belfast-based investment office, sold its stake to Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual and Madrid-based management company Kevilmare Espana sold 22.7 percent of its stake back to Aqua.

AGF Latam closed on $173.4 million in October 2013. The fund surpassed its $150 million target, but missed its $200 million hard-cap, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

Other LPs in the fund include Inter-American Development Bank, the development finance institution, Compass Group, the contract catering company and the Saudi Economic and Development Company, a sovereign wealth fund. Fifty percent of the investor base is European, 35 percent US-based and 15 percent from Latin America and the Middle East and it includes family offices, and endowments as well as financial investors and development finance institutions. A source familiar with the matter told Secondaries Investor, Agri Investor’s sister publication, that the fund’s core group of LPs are happy with the fund’s performance.

AGF Latam is Aqua’s only fund. The firm invests in the agribusiness value chain — not primary production or farmland investments. Targeted portfolio companies must operate in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and other South American countries and have at least $20 million in annual revenues, according to the firm’s website.

In September 2011, the firm backed family company Comfrio which operates cold-storage and foodservice logistics for brands like Starbucks and Outback Steakhouse throughout Brazil. The firm has also invested in micronutrients supplier Aminoagro. Aqua had planned to invest in between four and six companies using capital from its AGF Latam, but only two companies are listed on the firm’s website and the firm declined to comment.

Aqua is based in São Paulo and was founded in 2009 by Sebastian Popik, who previously led the Argentine Agribusiness Investment Fund at Pampa Management, and Jorge Luis Ahumada.



Reporting by Chelsea Stevenson.