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Gimv and Agri Investment Fund (AIF) announced today the launch of the Gimv Agri+ Investment Fund. The new fund focuses on innovative companies in the agricultural sector and related sectors in the Benelux and neighbouring countries. Gimv Agri+ Investment Fund will start out with EUR 60 million.
As sponsor, Gimv is investing EUR 30 million, with AIF, as co-sponsor, contributing the remaining 30 EUR million. The fund will be managed by Gimv’s Life Sciences team, which will be able to count on the support of the entire Gimv organisation and the active involvement of AIF’s agricultural specialists. Gimv Agri+ Investment Fund will be sounding out opportunities for possibly attracting additional investment resources from other institutional investors in a later phase.
The fund will be focusing on innovative companies with substantial growth potential in the agricultural sector and related sectors. This includes, amongst others, green and white biotechnology, green energy, environmental technology, biotechnology in connection with veterinary medicine, services, new marketing structures and concepts, processing capacity for new crops or products, and foods for humans and animals. In each case, the focus will be on innovation. The amount of each investment will vary from EUR 2.5 to 10 million, either as a minority or majority shareholding. Gimv Agri+ Investment Fund can invest in all growth phases of a company, acting as a long-term partner. The fund’s 12-year lifespan emphasises this long-term vision.
Piet Vanthemsche, chairman of MRBB, the financial holding company of the Boerenbond Group (the Flemish Farmers' Union Group) sees it this way: "Rising world population, increased living standards in many emerging countries and the emergence of green energy and green chemistry provide a growing demand for agricultural products. At the same time awareness is increasing of our planet’s vulnerability to climate change and the limited availability of such resources as land and water. To overcome these massive economic and ecological challenges, innovation in the agricultural sector is crucial. The pooling of Gimv and AIF resources and those of any other potential investors will lead to a number of synergies: leverage via the pooling of investment capital, AIF’s industry knowledge backed up by the Boerenbond and Gimv’s experience in managing investment funds and in the field of life sciences.
We are indeed convinced that, despite the economic crisis and the current depression in farming and horticulture, we need to play the investment card today to build tomorrow’s innovative solutions. The fund will seek to invest at least 50% of its resources in companies or projects with the potential to provide added value to the Flemish agricultural sector."
AIF was established in 2007 under the auspices of MRBB. AIF invests in innovative projects contributing to the competitiveness of the agriculture and horticulture sectors within the scope of the Boerenbond. AIF’s previous investments, totalling EUR 58 million, have gone into the companies Fertikal, Thenergo, Okapi, CCF, Fugeia, Iscal, Covalis and Better3Fruit.