EQT Future fund to invest in SNFL Group, a table grape R&D company, and acquire IFG, a fruit-breeding company

EQT Future fund to invest in SNFL Group, a table grape R&D company, and acquire IFG, a fruit-breeding company

(PRESS RELEASE) STOCKHOLM, 8-Mar-2022 — /EuropaWire/ — EQT, a purpose-driven global investment organization, has announced that its EQT Future fund will make a significant minority investment in the combination of SNFL (Special New Fruit Licensing), a table grape R&D company, and IFG, a Calif.-based fruit-breeding company. Both companies are innovators in table grape and cherry breeding and the transaction aims at establishing a combined company with an improved value proposition for growers, retailers and consumers. The deal is done together with current SNFL shareholders, AM FRESH Group, a global fresh food company, and Paine Schwartz Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on investing in the food and agribusiness sectors. Following the completion of the transactions, SNFL and IFG will become an integrated business in which EQT Future will hold a significant minority stake with AM FRESH being the controlling shareholder. AM FRESH will re-invest fully and continue investing in the combined entity to finance the acquisition of IFG. The current transaction represents EQT Future’s second investment.

SNFL is a breeder and licensor of table grape vines with 67 patented varieties and a significant number of licensed hectares to growers across 19 countries. The company operates R&D centers in Spain and the U.S. with a focus on disease resistance, optimized farming practices, specialty flavors, high nutritional values and extended shelf life.

Headquartered in Bakersfield, California, IFG is a breeder and licensor of table grape vines and cherry trees varieties. The company uses natural breeding practices to provide growers with improved economics through reduction of resource usage and enhanced agricultural productivity. IFG was founded in 2001 and holds 47 patented table grape vines varieties, cherry trees varieties and a significant number of licensed hectares to growers across 15 countries.

The Companies’ teams of geneticists, molecular biologists, agronomists and technologists have developed innovative new patented grape and cherry varieties for over two decades. In addition to being more resistant to disease, which reduces the need for harmful fungicides, the grapes are more durable, have higher yields, are more resistant to weather changes, have more consistent taste and have higher nutritional values. The Companies have developed significant expertise in innovative fruit breeding over several decades, creating broad gene banks, which form the foundation for the evolution of new varieties.

EQT Future invests in companies that are transforming industries to deliver meaningful results for people and the planet. These Companies are closely aligned with the Fund’s “Planet” objective: to safeguard resources and climate, by improving agricultural productivity and minimizing the use of fungicides in grape production. EQT Future will leverage its existing impact management framework to accelerate impact, support investments in digitalization and innovative breeding technologies and support the Companies’ continued pursuit of R&D excellence. The Companies are expected to leverage EQT’s inhouse digital and tech expertise, global presence and network of advisors to strengthen their systems and organizations.

Carl Johan Renström, Partner within EQT Future Advisory Team, said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support these two innovative companies and this is a prime example of how EQT Future invests in companies with the potential to lead industries towards a more sustainable future. EQT Future will support accelerated investments in R&D, and focus on impact, digitization, systems and organizational development. We look forward to partnering with renowned fresh produce company, AM FRESH, and sustainable food chain investor PSP, on this journey.”

Svein Tore Holsether, Member of EQT Future’s Mission Board and President and CEO of Yara International, said, “As a Mission Board member, I am thrilled to see this as the second investment for EQT Future. Sustainable agriculture is one of our biggest opportunities and challenges. SNFL and IFG have a meaningful role to play in accelerating this transition through their focus on minimizing resource use and fungicides use. The Mission Board is very excited about supporting the companies in this journey.”

Alvaro Muñoz, CEO of AM FRESH, said, “I am proud of the future we will create combining our efforts for the benefit of consumers, growers, retailers and the planet. AM FRESH will continue its full investment in SNFL, which together with IFG will be closer to our long-standing goal of feeding the world better with fresh, healthy and natural foods produced in a more sustainable way. Our teams are excited to unlock the next frontier in the table grape industry and excite the world with innovative varieties for a healthier future.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals and is expected to close in Q4 2022.

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with EUR 73.4 billion in assets under management across 28 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 175,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedInTwitterYouTube and Instagram

About AM FRESH Group
AM FRESH Group is a global fresh food company focused on spearheading varietal innovation, agriscience and biotechnology, extensive farming and global commercialization of Citrus, Table Grapes, Tropical & Superfoods, Plant-Based Foods, Top-fruit, and Flowers at scale. Equipped with over 90 years of expertise, AM FRESH Group is privately held, present in over 60 countries with 6.200 employees with a passion and commitment to innovation, it operates as an end-to-end vertically integrated model to serve the top retailers worldwide.

For more on AM FRESH Group, please visit www.amfresh.com
Follow AM FRESH Group on LinkedIn

About Paine Schwartz Partners
A global leader in sustainable food chain investing, Paine Schwartz Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on investment opportunities in the fast-growing, dynamic global food and agribusiness sectors. The firm’s investment, operations and finance professionals invest throughout cycles across the food and agribusiness value chain, and bring a collaborative and active management approach to portfolio companies.

For further information, please see www.paineschwartz.com

About SNFL Group
SNFL Group (Special New Fruit Licensing) is a table grape R&D company. For over 25 years we have been breeding and developing new natural table grape varieties and licensing their production around the world. The SNFL Innovation Centre is state of the art and its multi-disciplinary team is made up of geneticists, molecular biologists, agronomists and technologists of the highest caliber. SNFL is present in 19 countries across the globe and we deliver cutting-edge innovation in mainstream, specialty flavoured, disease resistant and high-antioxidant table grape varieties. SNFL is committed to leading grape innovation for a healthier future.

For more on SNFL Group, please visit www.snflgroup.com
Follow SNFL on LinkedIn and Instagram

About IFG
Headquartered in Bakersfield, California, USA, IFG is a fruit-breeding company. Founded in 2001, the company is internationally recognized for its top quality, non-GMO fruit varieties in the table grape, cherry and raisin industries. IFG patents and licenses its varieties to worldwide marketers and growers, with licensees in 15 countries and its fruit actively marketed in over 30 countries.

For more information, visit www.ifg.world

EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

AM FRESH Group & SNFL Group, patricia.sagarminaga@amfresh.com, Patricia Sagarminaga +34 669 161 941

IFG, tamara.baker@ifg.com



Follow EuropaWire on Google News

Comments are closed.