Norwest Equity Partners Completes Sale of Actagro to Nutrien
March 18, 2019
- Actagro acquired by the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services.
- Since NEP’s investment, Actagro has grown into a differentiated soil and plant health technology platform serving a global customer base.
- Actagro is a leader in the agriculture industry, bringing innovative solutions to growers worldwide.
- Nutrien’s acquisition includes Actagro’s strong R&D team, as well as a near-complete, world-class research and development facility located in California that will support the continued development of soil and plant health technologies.
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading middle market investment firm founded in 1961, has completed the sale of Actagro, a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of environmentally sustainable soil and plant health products and technologies, to Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services. The transaction, initially announced on February 5, 2019, closed on March 15, 2019.
Founded in 1980, Actagro is a technology-driven, premier developer, manufacturer and marketer of environmentally sustainable soil and plant health solutions that enhance value for customers globally. Designed to maximize crop performance above the surface by enhancing soil health while minimizing nutrient losses below, Actagro’s proprietary chemistry, formulation, and manufacturing processes enable its specialty organic acid-based products to increase nutrient availability for plants resulting in better growth yields and higher grower profits. Actagro products also help growers increase long-term productivity and profitability of their land.
“Being a part of the NEP family of portfolio companies has been a natural fit for us,” stated Monty Bayer, Actagro CEO. “The NEP team provided us with strategic insight and robust resources, and they shared our long-term vision to help us create successful outcomes. NEP worked side-by-side with us to build Actagro into a stronger company and position us for a successful sale to Nutrien. We couldn’t have asked for a better investment partner.”
Since NEP’s investment in 2011, Actagro has more than doubled employee headcount, significantly increased R&D capacity, accelerated product launches by 52%, and realized revenue and EBITDA growth by 71 percent and 78 percent, respectively. Together with NEP, Actagro has grown into a differentiated soil and plant health technology platform, earning a spot as a leader in the agriculture technology space bringing innovative solutions to growers worldwide.
“Actagro’s products have a strong track-record of increasing crop productivity and financial returns for growers. It has been rewarding to partner with a company who positively influences environmental sustainability and helps increase food production for the world. Our partnership with Actagro has been terrific, and we are excited to watch their continued success with Nutrien,” stated Todd Solow, a NEP partner.
Actagro distributes products across global agricultural markets through numerous retailers and distributors, including Nutrien’s Retail business. Produced at two domestic facilities located in California and Arkansas, Actagro products include nutrient efficiency solutions, nutrient management solutions, soil health solutions, plant stimulant solutions, and solutions for organic food production.
Actagro was a natural fit within NEP’s agriculture investment strategy. In addition to Actagro, NEP was also an investor in Becker Underwood, an Iowa-based global leader in seed enhancements and biological products that improve crop sustainability and enhance yields for growers around the world. Over the course of NEP’s investment, Becker Underwood increased revenue and profitability four-fold, completed eight strategic add-on acquisitions, and doubled its number of employees. BASF acquired Becker Underwood in 2012.
Lazard Middle Market advised Actagro on the transaction; Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal services to Actagro. Headquartered in Biola, California, Actagro employs over 130 people. More information can be found on actagro.com and nep.com.