EQT Future to invest in SNFL and IFG, two innovators in fruit genetics
EQT Future to make a significant minority investment in the combination of SNFL and IFG, two innovators in table grape and cherry breeding, with the ambition to form a company with an improved value proposition for growers, retailers and consumers
SNFL and IFG develop improved fruit varieties (table grapes and cherries) through natural hybridization and other non-GMO processes. The enhanced genetics improve fruits’ agricultural yield, nutritional value, taste, crunchiness and shelf life
In accordance with EQT Future’s impact-driven strategy, EQT will support the development of disease-resistant varieties, which reduces the need for fungicide use in the growing process, providing a solution for one of the grape industry’s biggest environmental challenges
EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Future fund (“EQT Future'' or the “Fund”) has agreed to make a significant minority investment in SNFL and acquire IFG (the “Companies”), together with current SNFL shareholders, AM FRESH Group (“AM FRESH”) and Paine Schwartz Partners (“PSP”). 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. This transaction represents the second investment for EQT Future.
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.
EQT Press Office, email@example.com, +46 8 506 55 334
AM FRESH Group & SNFL Group, firstname.lastname@example.org, Patricia Sagarminaga +34 669 161 941