According to Preqin's Fund Manager Profiles service, 1,084 private equity firms consider investments in the food industry. Of these firms, 29 solely focus on the food industry. Over the last decade these firms across the globe have raised $2.5bn and have an estimated $1.1bn in uncalled capital. Forty-one percent of these food-focused firms are based in the US, followed by Brazil which is home to 14% of these firms. The UK hosts three food-focused fund managers and the remaining firms are spread across the globe in countries including Costa Rica, France, India and Russia.
The top three firms by aggregate capital raised in the last 10 years are the US-based Paine & Partners and Arbor Private Investment Company and the India-based Rabo Equity Advisors. Paine & Partners is a US-based private equity focusing on investments in food and agribusiness companies globally, through management buyouts, public to private transactions and growth capital investments. It looks to invest in input companies that seek to increase productivity in plant and animal production and processing. The firm also look to invest in companies addressing the increased demand for healthier diets. The firm has raised $1.2bn over the last decade and has an estimated $300mn in dry powder.
Arbor Private Investment Company makes middle market buyout investments in North America-based food and beverage companies. Founded in 1999, Arbor has raised three private equity funds to invest in the food and beverage industries and in the last decade it has raised almost $600mn and has an estimated $400mn in dry powder. The majority of the companies it acquires are entrepreneurial or family-owned.
Rabo Equity Advisors makes growth capital investments in India-based agricultural and food companies. The firm prefers to take a majority stake in its portfolio companies. It is currently raising its second fund, India Agri Business Fund II, to provide growth capital to small to medium food and agriculture businesses in India. Since the firm established in 2008, it has raised $120mn and has an estimated $30mn available in dry powder. Rabo Equity Advisors has offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.