According to data from the Spanish Association of Capital, Growth, and Investment (Ascri), private equity funds in Spain alone have 4,500 to 5,000 million available to invest. A significant part of that money goes to the Spanish agri-food sector, which proved to be one of the most resistant sectors in the pandemic.
“There is a growing demand for fresh products in Spain and in Europe with a limiting factor, i.e. the growing area. To date, it still has a very fragmented supply structure that offers winning projects possibilities to grow organically and inorganically,” stated Enrique Salamero, partner at AZ Capital.
One of the greatest examples of consolidation is the one executed by Miura Private Equity, which created Citri & Co -the largest citrus group in Europe- to buy Martinavarro and Frutas Esther, among other companies, to add them to its Fruits fund, which was created with 350 million with the goal of being a partner for businessmen of the Iberian Peninsula.
Another outstanding transaction signed in Spain in 2020 was Partners Group's acquisition of Rovensa, which valued the company at 1,000 million euro. This company, which has been in the hands of the British manager Brigepoint since 2016, is the Spanish leader in herbicides and pesticides. Its owners decided to make it grow with the acquisition of the South African Oro Agri.
GPF Capital, Nazca, and Label Investment made smaller acquisitions last year. Their purchases included a ready-to-eat onion processing company (Eurocebollas) and a company specialized in the production and distribution of lemons and pomegranates (Frugarsa).
In January of this year, MCH joined forces with SanLucar Fruit to purchase Llucar citrus, a company from Castellon.
Right now, two other companies in the Spanish countryside are looking for a buyer: Alvinesa and Sustainable Agro Solutions (SAS).
Alvinesa, in the hands of Artá, the venture capital arm of the March, has been for sale since the beginning of last year. The operation has been reactivated by Rothschild and Artá expects to obtain up to 350 million euro, according to data published by CincoDias on October 6.
The other agricultural company is the fertilizer producer Sustainable Agro Solutions (SAS), with offers of around 150 million. PAI, Arta, ICG, and Stirling have reached the final phase, according to CincoDias.
Frutas Maripi is also looking for a financial investor to give it muscle, emulating Moyka (in the hands of ProA Capital) and Frutas Esther.