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Ecus Launches US$30m Fund for Agri-Food Investments

9 January 2013

Ecus Administradora General de Fondos launches a US$ 30 million fund specialized in agri-food investments, focused on adding value to Chilean agriculture and aquaculture production through the association between Chilean companies and European innovative SMEs.

Ecus Agri-Food is funded by Chilean and European private investors for US$ 11 million, and a credit line from Corfo, the Chilean economic development agency, of US$ 19 million.

Hubert Porte, Ecus Administradora General de Fondos´ Executive Chairman, explains that along with his partners, Gustavo Rivera and François Edant, he decided to tackle the agri-food sector because there is a clear complementarity between Europe and Chile: “in Europe, or more specifically in France, there is a deep know how of processed products with significant value added. At the same time, in Chile, the share of processed products versus raw material exports is still low. We do believe that we can trigger powerful synergies by incorporating technology and processes in order to help Chile to add value to its production and to reach its goal to become the world’s tenth largest food exporter”.

The new Fund is managed by its investment director Nicolas Malard, who comments that they are currently evaluating opportunities in the fruits and vegetables transformation, dairy and industrial pastry sectors, among others.

Ecus Agri-Food has also an agreement with OSEO, a French institution linked to innovation and entrepreneurship support – equivalent to CORFO –, whose role is to promote the Fund and to select French companies so that they invest in Chile.

Ecus Administradora General de Fondos is a fund manager active since 2006 in Chile held by the Chilean company Ecus Capital (60%) and AXA Private Equity (40%). Aside from Ecus Agri-Food, it manages Axa Capital Chile I, a US$28 million-sized fund fully invested and is launching the fundraising of Axa Capital II, a US$100 million growth/expansion and mid-buyout fund focused on the development of Chilean medium-sized companies.