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US fund increases stake in AgriNurture

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By James A. Loyola

Singapore-based Black River, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Black River Capital Partners Fund (Food) LP, has invested P682 million to increase its stake in AgriNurture, Inc., the listed firm of businessman Antonio Tiu.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), ANI said Vikings Asia Agri Ventures BV, formerly Solveigh Philippines Agri Investments BV, has sold 50 million shares through a block sale at P13.642 per share for a total price of P682.1 million.

Sought for comment on this, Tiu said Blackriver Food Fund acquired the shares sold by Vikings Asia Agri Ventures. Tiu welcomed the investment, noting that”it’s a boost of confidence.”

In 2013, the US-based asset management company was already an investor in ANI with an investment of as much as 30.92 percent. Blackriver is a food-focused fund and used to be owned by Cargill, which is the world’s largest agriculture company.

Prior to this, in 2011, Black River bought a 28.11-percent stake in ANI.
ANI, an agricultural exporter, continues to boost its business, hitching a ride with the growing economy.

The company reported a nearly 50 percent jump in net income to P70.72 million in the first half of 2019 from the P48.98 million earned in the same period last year.

ANI said consolidated attributable net income grew 255 percent to P32.28 million from P9.08 million a year ago.

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