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TIAA, AGR Partners to Launch $247M TGAM Agribusiness Fund-B

July 14, 2017

TIAA Global Asset Management (TGAM) and California-based ag and food-focused private equity firm AGR Partners have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in preparation for the launch of the $247 million TGAM Agribusiness Fund-B.

Under the filing for the pooled private equity fund, TIAA-CREF Alternative Advisors and AGR Partners are listed as fund managers, while John Goodreds,senior managing director and Head of Alternative Solutions, Nuveen, and Jose Minaya, President of Global Investments, Nuveen, and Ejnar Knudsen, managing partner at AGR Partners, are listed as executive officers.

So far, $9.6 million has been committed to the New York-based fund from a single investor, leaving $237.4 million to be raised.

The launch of Fund-B comes little more than a year after TGAM and AGR Partners launched its first $600 million agribusiness fund in the spring of last year following organizational and operational shifts at both firms.

In the beginning of February 2016, TIAA announced it was launching a new business unit dedicated exclusively to expanding the group’s real asset capabilities. Designed to facilitate growth through the aligning of affiliates, business teams and strategies, the new unit was established as a ‘stand-alone business’ and includes the company’s agriculture, timber, global real estate, infrastructure, and energy teams, along with subsidiaries, TH Real Estate, Westchester Group Investment Management, GreenWood Resources, and Churchill Asset Management.

In addition, within weeks of the launch of its new business unit, the group announced a re-branding to TIAA, and announced that it has rebranded its investment business as TIAA Global Asset Management as part of the group’s strategy to reposition the asset management business as a ‘distinct brand in the marketplace’.

Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter of 2015, AGR Partners announced the opening of a new office in Chicago in order to expand its national coverage and to support the company as it seeks new opportunities to invest along the food and agriculture value chain. The office will be led by AGR managing directors Keith Freeman and Michael Solot – both with AGR since 2014.

Then, in the spring of 2016, the firm moved its headquarters to Davis, California, in order to gain proximity to the dynamic food and ag research and developments occurring around the University of California, Davis.

Seeking out deals through which the firm can provide capital via non-controlling equity and subordinated debt, AGR has invested more than $280 million over the past four years in seven companies, according to the firm’s website.

Today, AGR Partners’ portfolio includes:

Icicle Seafoods: A wild salmon, pollock, and cod processor, and one of the largest seafood companies in North America.

Almark Foods: Producer of a range of egg products for retailers, convenience stores, restaurant chains, and salad manufacturers including ready-to-eat hard boiled eggs, frozen diced eggs, and deviled egg kits.

Tru-Test Group: A global livestock and dairy equipment manufacturer.

3D Corporate Solutions: Leading producer of pet food ingredients.

SEMO Milling: Producer of human-grade milled corn ingredient products from its dry corn mill in Scott City, Missouri.

Opal Foods: Manufacturer and marketer of generic and specialty eggs.

And, Ridley Corporation: A leading Australian producer of animal feed and nutrition products for the dairy, poultry, pig, sheep, beef, laboratory animal, aquaculture, and recreational canine and equine sectors.

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.

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