After a year of stormy negotiations, when they decided to sign the agreement at exactly 3am, the printer failed. What seemed impossible, happened: they run out of toner. The transaction that changed the history of Los Grobo Group, one of the main agribusiness players, was finalized hours later. In this context, Victoria Capital Partners makes a capital injection of US$ 100 million into the Company. Furthermore, for an undisclosed amount, it buys 75% of the Company which has annual revenues of US$ 550 million, 700 employees, 50,000 hectares of crops, ventured into agrochemicals with Agrofina, leads the precision agriculture with Frontec in association with INVAP, produces seeds and even offers financial services through a mutual credit guarantee company.
Victoria Capital acquires the stock that was still owned by the Brazilian Vinci group and by Gabriela and Andrea Grobocopatel. Gustavo and his other sister Matilde remain as shareholders. Grobocopatel will continue to be President and Horacio Busanello, CEO. “The entire team stays”, Grobocopatel assured Clarin.
What’s new about this multi-million dollar transaction, is the type of investors that Victoria Capital is partnering with, the IFC, the investment vehicle of the World Bank, the Dutch bank FMO and the University of Texas which invest in Argentina for the first time.
Victoria Capital, on the other hand, has been with us for decades. This fund, which is a successor of the well-known DLJ, made its first investment with the purchase of Peñaflor, the powerful wine conglomerate, is a shareholder of Zucamor (cardboard containers) and the seeds producer Satus Ager. They split from Credit Suisse in 2011, discarded the DLJ name and adopted Victoria, in honor of the only vessel that survived the Magellan expedition. With offices in New York, Sao Paulo, Bogotá and Buenos Aires, Victoria has investments in the Colombian construction company Corona, the publishing company Santillana in Spain and Arcos Dorados, the McDonald’s franchise. Itau bank acted as financial advisor in this transaction.
– Aren’t you afraid of an unfavorable market scenario as a consequence of Trump’s triumph?
-If there is a competitive and sustainable industry in Argentina, it is the Agriculture. We are a financial investor group with no time urgency. We have many years ahead of us, say Carlos García and Santiago Cotter, partners at Victoria.
–Why do you sell part of the group?, Grobocopatel was inquired.
-We try to take advantage of the current political and economic scenario. We now count with a great global platform with top investors. Nowadays, we need to have access to knowledge and capital. We cannot grow without access to capital. We want our company to transcend the family and Argentina.
“We will double in size in a short period of time. Cost of money is part of being competitive. A new whole scenario opens up”, added Busanello.
Going forward, they will strengthen Los Grobo as a leader in services that integrate the producer’s needs in one place.
One of the first new segments they focus on at this stage is legumes, such as yellow pea, Canadian lentil and chickpea, that they have already started to sow. “It can be a boom very similar to that of soybean, with India increasingly demanding this type of products”, Grobocopatel added enthusiastically.