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WSIB approves $300 million commitment to Teays River – exclusive

The $105 billion Washington State Investment Board has approved a $300m commitment to the row- and permanent-crop farmland management company, taking the pension's agri exposure to $1.1bn.

The $105 billion Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) approved a $300 million commitment to Teays River Investments, a row and permanent crop farmland management company, at a board meeting last week, according to Liz Mendizabal, a spokesperson for the pension fund.

This is the latest investment for Teays River which recently received a $200 million commitment from the $12.75 billion Maine Public Employees’ Retirement System (MainePERS).

This new commitment takes WSIB’s agri exposure to $1.1 billion across five investments representing a large portion of its $1.4 billion tangible assets programme, which was launched in 2008.

Last year WSIB committed $250 million to US Farming Realty Trust III, a commodity row-crop farmland fund managed by International Farming Corporation; $50 million to ACM Permanent Crops, a vertically integrated permanent crops fund which closed on $250 million earlier this year  and $250 million to a separate account investment with Wood Creek Capital Management, a real assets manager based in Connecticut, to invest into between seven and 10 agriculture-related midstream assets.

The pension fund’s tangible asset portfolio invests in non-financial assets with a focus in four main industries: minerals and mining, energy, agriculture and society essentials, according to its website.

Teays River was established in 2009 initially as a private equity fund with investment from TIAA-CREF, Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Swedish pension AP Fonden 2 totalling $903 million. But it was re-structured into a company to reflect the long-term investment wishes of the investors and is now a co-investment structure. The company invests in land, operations, logistics, facilities and processing associated with farming operations.