Targeting opportunities transforming the global agricultural and food value chains
responsAbility announces first closings of two Sustainable Food strategies totaling USD 274 million
Zurich, 25 January 2023, responsAbility Investments AG (“responsAbility”) is pleased to announce the closings of its second private equity growth strategy in Asia and its first mezzanine financing strategy in Latin America. These strategies leverage on the already extensive experience of responsAbility deploying capital to target regional opportunities in globally transforming Agriculture and Food value chains.
The Sustainable Food in Asia strategy made a USD 173 million first close and will focus on taking significant minority stakes in growth companies across South Asia and Southeast Asia. The final close is targeted at USD 300 - 400 million. With Asia poised to more than double its total spending on food to over USD 8 trillion by 2030, the strategy aims to tap the 1.2 billion predominantly young, urbanized consumers expected to join the upper middle class income category. Driven by the increase in demand for food that’s safe, healthy, and convenient, the investments will focus on mid and downstream companies propelling efficiency in food production and distribution across South Asia and Southeast Asia (India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines).
Rik Vyverman, Head of Sustainable Food Private Equity at responsAbility says: “With our local presence in India, Bangkok and our soon-to-be-established office in Singapore, our sector know-how and proven experience, we are not only able to identify trends and growth drivers which are transforming the food value chain, but most importantly are able to translate this into high quality and proprietary deal flow.”
Stephanie Bilo, Chief Client & Investment Solutions Officer at responsAbility says: “This successful start to the fundraise comes on the back of the track record of our first fund, which is showing a strong performance as well as delivering high impact, changing the lives of millions of small holder farmers across Asia, and implementing sustainable agricultural practices on hundreds of thousands of hectares of land. We are very excited about the fact that institutional investors are increasingly interested in the sector and recognize the attractiveness of the opportunity, especially in times of high inflation, and concerns for food security globally.”
Sustainable Food in Latam: This strategy made a first close at USD 101 million and will target investments in producers and exporters of mainly fruits and vegetables in Latin America (Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chile). The competitive advantage of the region in terms of natural resources – availability of land, water, diverse climate zones and biodiversity – combined with an increasingly health orientated consumer, has led to impressive growth of exports over the last decades and is projected to continue in the future.
Commenting, Rik Vyverman, Head of Sustainable Food Private Equity of responsAbility said: “We have opted for a structured debt approach (mezzanine finance) given that many of the investment opportunities are family owned and managed businesses and exits are not always obvious. We are aligning ourselves with the entrepreneurs in terms of the growth we are financing and as such are endeavouring to generate attractive risk adjusted returns and provide a recurrent income for our investors at the same time. Obviously, we only select companies that we assess to positively contribute to overcoming the challenges of sustainable food supply and resource efficiency.”
responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact asset manager specializing in private market investments across three investment themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. All responsAbility investment solutions target specific measurable impact alongside market returns. They all meet the criteria of Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
Since its inception in 2003, responsAbility has deployed over USD 13 billion in impact investments. With over 200 employees collaborating across seven offices, as of 31 December 2022 the company manages USD 3.5 billion in assets across 280 portfolio companies in 75 countries. Since 2022 responsAbility is part of M&G plc, the international savings, and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing.
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