Black River acquires stake in AgriNurture

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A SINGAPORE-BASED fund bought P682.1 million worth of shares in AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI), following the exit of another investor in the company.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the listed agribusiness firm said Vikings Asia Agri Ventures BV has sold 50 million ANI shares at a price of P13.642 apiece through a block sale on Thursday.

The shares were then acquired by Singapore-based fund Black River, a wholly-owned unit of Black River Capital Partners Fund (Food) LP.

“It’s a boost of confidence,” ANI Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio L. Tiu said in a statement.

Black River Capital is a unit of US-based asset management firm Black River Asset Management LLC, which is a food-focused fund. The same company acquired a 28.11% stake in ANI in 2012 for $30.45 million, but later on divested from the firm.

ANI remains optimistic for its prospects in the second half of the year, banking on the approval of the Rice Liberalization Law to allow it to import rice. It also looks to increase its sales volume of banana, mango, and beverage products.

The company’s net income attributable to the parent grew 255% to P32.28 million in the first half of 2019, as revenues also climbed 184% to P2.4 billion.

Shares in ANI rose 3.76% or 54 centavos to close at P14.90 each at the stock exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia