Carofin and Carolina Financial Securities have announced that the firm has successfully raised $2.2M in Participating Preferred Membership Interests for Berry Capital Management, an SPV which provided working capital for a 400-acre organic blueberry farm.
One of only three organic farms in NC, it is operated by Carolina Berry Group (CBG) and its CEO, Brick Rooks, with 24 years of berry farming experience, deep marketing relationships in the industry, and one of the largest automated berry packing facilities in the Southeast.
The U.S. is the largest producer of blueberries, a native to North America and first cultivated for sale in 1916. Commercially grown in 26 states, they are the second most produced berry behind strawberries, whose annual growth rate has been eclipsed. As the trend for healthy living grows, the demand for organic products rise. In the last 10 years, retail sales of organic blueberries have increased more than six-fold.
“By helping us acquire this farmland, Carofin helped us reach a critical milestone,” said Brick Rooks, CEO, Carolina Berry Group (CBG). “This outstanding property materially scales our footprint in the organic berry vertical. Carofin clearly understood our firm’s growth vision and designed a flexible capital facility to execute on our strategy. Most importantly, Carofin delivered. They raised the capital we needed in record time. I look forward to working with Carofin to pursue more opportunities.”
“We think our financing structure provided an elegant solution,” said Josh Greene, Carofin’s Vice President. “CBG secured one of the largest organic blueberry crops in the Southeast, a huge win. Our investors, meanwhile, are participating in the remarkable growth of the organic berry vertical, supported by operators with extensive industry expertise.”
Carofin raised the acquisition capital through a syndicate of family offices and high-net- worth individuals. The firm looks forward to bringing additional, meaningful investments to its growing network of engaged investors.
Carolina Financial Group (CFG), Carofin’s and CFS’s parent company, is a private investment bank that structures investments and raises vital capital for small to medium-sized businesses seeking growth capital in the U.S. Carofin and CFS have raised over $1.25B since 1995 across more than 200 private transactions. For more information, visit Carofin’s website.
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