Thursday, May 17, 2012

TIAA-CREF Raises $2 Billion for Global Farmland Investing Company

Big Money.
From the Wall Street Journal:

TIAA-CREF Raises $2 Billion for Agriculture Investments 
TIAA-CREF has finished reaping funds for its agricultural investment company, raising $2 billion, including commitments from pension funds of Sweden and Canada's British Columbia and Quebec.

TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture LLC, which was set up as a company instead of a fund, began investing in April 2011 and focuses on farmland in the U.S., Australia and Brazil. It aims to invest about 70% of the $2 billion in land that grows annual crops like cotton and soybean and the remainder on land for permanent crops like apples and almonds.

It counted among its investors the Second Swedish National Pension Fund, or AP2, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec. The statement didn't cite the size of their individual allocations.

"We see increased protein consumption in developing economies and alternative energy mandates driving increased demand for food, fiber and fuel from a limited resource—land," said Jose Minaya, TIAA-CREF's head of global natural resources and infrastructure investments. "Direct investment in farmland provides access to the key driver of food production."

The amount TIAA-CREF raised is among the largest dedicated to agricultural investments. Data provider Preqin said NCH Capital amassed $1.2 billion for its 2007 fund NCH Agribusiness Partners fund, the largest agriculture-specific fund....MORE