Vanguard International has announced it has received a strategic investment from Blue Road Capital, a New York-based investment fund focused on the agriculture sector.
As part of the investment, a newly formed entity – The Vanguard International Group – has been created to acquire the business operations of Vanguard International.
Blue Road has agreed to invest up to $250m into The Vanguard International Group to grow its existing business and make strategic acquisitions of fruit and vegetable production assets throughout the world, as well as other complimentary businesses.
Co-founders of Vanguard Craig Stauffer and Guy Kisling will remain CEO and CFO respectively under the new entity, while all other Vanguard employees will continue in ongoing operations. Kisling will also take on a new role as chief analytics officer.
“We are very pleased with our strategic partnership with Blue Road, and believe Blue Road will enable us to continue to grow Vanguard’s global business and to develop a global vertically-integrated fresh fruit and vegetable organisation, from farm to customer,” said Stauffer in a release. “Furthermore, we expect to close on our first production acquisitions in the near future.”
Blue Road partner John Duryea said the group was excited to be investing in a group like Vanguard.
“They have earned a terrific reputation serving growers and customers throughout their supply chain and, with our capital investment and the company’s vertical integration, [we] expect to enhance these relationships," he commented.
Founded in 1991, Vanguard is a leading global fresh fruit and vegetable marketer with sales of around US$150m for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2014. Headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, Vanguard has branch offices in Santiago, Chile; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Madrid, Spain; and Genoa, Italy.
Blue Road Management is an independent private equity firm focused on the acquisition and development of agricultural-focused businesses. Its strategy focuses on buying ‘control positions’ in Americas-based agricultural supply chain and production companies, partnering with management teams to build enterprise value beyond intrinsic underlying asset value.
“This is a very exciting time for us as we join together with Blue Road to form The Vanguard International Group,” said Tim Clarke, Vanguard’s COO. “With Vanguard International as the spring board, we are exceptionally well positioned for immediate growth that will allow us to improve our supply capabilities for our customers globally, and enhance our abilities to supply the right fruit at the right time through our existing supply and service relationships.”