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Aqua Capital Invests in New Agriculture Platform Via a Merger of Brazil’s Total Biotecnologia and Biotrop

12 December 2018

Aqua Capital announced the investment and creation of a platform for the production and trading of biologicals for crop development, nutrition, and protection. The new platform was created through a merger of Total Biotecnologia, a Brazilian company focused on the biological fertility sector and specializing in the development of high technology and high quality biological products, and Biotrop which develops and commercializes biological products and plant extracts in the Brazilian market.

(Press Release) Formed through the merger of Total Biotecnologia and Biotrop, the platform will be run by Antônio Zem, who previously led the operations of the ag chemical maker FMC Corp. in Latin America. Aqua Capital plans to focus on the internationalization of the company in order to supply a market that is growing 15% a year.

“Through the merger of Total Biotecnologia and Biotrop, we created a technology and production intelligence company with capacity to meet the demand from the world’s key agricultural markets,” said Sebastian Popik, Managing Partner at Aqua. “The products of both companies meet Brazil’s strict demands with results that are above the curve; Brazil is the stricter market in the globe, given its diversity and demands, meaning they are highly competitive worldwide,” he added.

Founded in 2005, with headquarters in Curitiba, Total has had a track record of successful exports to Latin American markets since 2016. “We have plans for strong growth in Brazil and abroad. We will expand even further our presence in Latin America, and develop other markets that already consume biologicals. We have started our operations focusing on internationalization to serve a segment that grows 15% a year,” said Antônio Zem, who is the new CEO of the merged company. Zem will manage the business together with Total’s founding partners André Kniphoff and Ricardo Araújo.

The new platform is already the largest in Brazil’s inoculants sector due to Total Biotecnologia’s positioning in this segment. “We have chosen Total Biotecnologia for its prominence in the soybean and corn seeds inoculants market, for its high technical capacity and the renowned quality of its products. We are creating a company that has sophisticated intelligence to create technology, and that will have the most complete portfolio of natural products for crop nutrition, protection and development,” Zemsaid. To do so, the company will rely on partnerships already agreed on by Biotrop, which has been selling in Brazil selected technologies from different countries. “The newly formed company now has the ability to exportBrazil’s best technology in biologicals due to thepartnerships that Biotrop has established allowing it to bring to Brazil the best worldwide biologicals technologiesfor agricultural efficiency and cost effectiveness,” Zem explained.

“We are thrilled with this deal. This merger will bring even more soundness and clear benefits to our employees and clients, who will have access to the world’s best technologies and solutions in biologicals to boost their productivity and gains,” said André Kniphoff.“We have a vibrant pipeline of products like micro-organisms to be introduced in the short-term, and we will go beyond, with bio-stimulants and botanical extracts, to offer farmers highly technological solutions for crop development, nutrition, protection, and stress tolerance. This is now a time for us to grow and go international, and Aqua Capitaland Biotrop are the ideal partners to help us do so,” Ricardo Araújo explained.

In addition to the internationalization, the investment plan considers the development of distribution channels and the expansion of the geographic footprint in Brazil, where Total Biotecnologia and Biotrop together have over 170 employees. The merged company is expected to triple itsrevenues to R$ 200 million in the next five years.