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Stafford focuses on Australasia, Americas for agri secondaries

The firm will follow a similar strategy to the one it applied to its timberland investments.

Stafford Capital Partners will focus its first agricultural investment strategy on securing agricultural land and operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and a few Latin American countries like Brazil.

The new strategy, which is being developed with Swiss environmental investment firm EBG Capital, will be rooted in the model Stafford says has proved successful for its timberland investments, sister publication Agri Investor reported in August.

Stafford Agriculture managing partner Bernd Schanzenbacher told Agri Investor that an agricultural investment strategy will similarly focus capital on low-cost producers and fund secondaries. He said that Stafford’s funds of funds model will enable the firm to invest in a globally diverse portfolio of locally sourced agricultural operations, helping to mitigate the risk that comes with soft commodity prices and currency value fluctuations.

In May the firm announced a final $484 million close of Stafford International Timberland VII, its fund of funds focused on investing in timberland.

Stafford told Agri Investor that the idea for an agricultural investments strategy emerged when it anticipated existing investors were interested in diversifying their portfolios. The agricultural investments could take the shape of a fund, individually managed accounts or both.

Stafford will put 30 to 40 percent of capital into protein-related investments like livestock and dairy, looking at cattle and sheep in Australasia. Both meat and dairy livestock will be fed on pastures. Row crops producing grains, oilseeds and pulses will make up a similar 30 to 40 percent tranche of capital investment. The remainder will be invested in permanent crops, such as nuts and fruit orchards.

Stafford provides investment management and advisory services in alternative assets and has $4.5 billion under management or advice.