Spanish agriculture has become the new target of investment funds because of the attractive profitability it offers. The operations carried out in this sector are not huge in terms of volume, but they are transforming the ownership model of many traditional companies involved in Spanish agriculture and promoting consolidation processes. The buy, build & sell scheme is the favorite of the new agroequity.
Spain is the orchard of Europe, and in the case of the companies involved in the latest investments, there is the circumstance that they have initiated internationalization processes in order to put an end to the seasonality of their supply and meet the demand from large distributors all year round. Trade agreements such as those that the EU has signed with South Africa, or negotiated with Latin American countries (Mercosur), facilitate imports in the months in which there is no domestic production in Spanish fields, and many of these companies already have their own farms, or agreements with suppliers. This is leading to a distancing between large stockists and small and medium producers, as the change in the farming model is also leading to a greater concentration of the supply and to the signing of alliances in the production. The idea is to prevent losses and the abandonment of crops.
The latest operation of the kind that has been confirmed was the one reported last week by Miura Capital, which acquired the Murcia-based firm Frutas Esther. The fund, managed by Luis Seguí, Jordi Alegre or Juan Eusebio Pujol, has chosen to continue what it started with the Martinavarro family, creating the Global Citrus giant (Citri&Go).
It has not been the only recent case, as Atitlán has also started out in the citrus segment with the purchase of Romu Fruits. Its plan is to seek plots with between 200 and 300 arable hectares, as well as access to irrigation, in order to create or mechanize farms. Andalusia is the region it is more interested in, although it doesn't rule out investing in Murcia or the Region of Valencia if it finds plots that can adapt to his model.
Other similar examples of investment in the agricultural sector are those of Abac Capital, with the purchase of Almeria's vegetable specialist Grupo Agroponiente; ProA Capital, with its investment in Moyca, a table grape producer; and that of Nazca and the Arab Investcorp, with the former having sold the Catalan Agromillora to the latter.