Agricover Holding SA successfully finances an inaugural EUR 40 million bond issue on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB)
The bonds issued by Agricover Holding SA are denominated in euro, unsecured, with a nominal value of €50,000 per bond and a coupon rate of 3.5%.
The amount raised through the bond issue is intended to finance the lending operations of Agricover Credit IFN SA, a subsidiary of Agricover Holding SA, specialising exclusively in financing farmers in Romania. Including through the funds raised through the bond issue, the non-bank financial institution aims to maintain the fast pace of lending to Romanian farmers and to further contribute to the sustained, sustainable growth of local agricultural performance.
"We are honoured by the interest generated by this first bond issue, especially among individuals and institutional investors, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity created to connect, through the BVB, the financial community with Romanian farmers, in order to build together a performing, competitive and environmentally responsible Romanian agriculture", said Ștefan Bucătaru, Member of the Board of Directors of Agricover Holding SA, coordinator of capital markets operations.
The bond issuance and private placement process was brokered as sole coordinators of the transaction by Banca Comercială Română (BCR) and BRD Groupe Societe Generale, through their teams specialized in capital markets operations. The law firm Schoenherr și Asociații SCA provided legal assistance and Ernst & Young Assurance Services S.R.L and KPMG Audit SRL provided financial audit services.
"We are pleased to join Agricover Group as intermediaries in the largest local private placement of bonds by a "corporate" issuer in recent years. We were pleasantly surprised that investors, both institutional - international financial institutions, commercial banks and investment funds - and private banking clients, were very receptive to Agricover's offering in the context of a tumultuous period for the financial markets. This is clear proof that a solid company operating a business model with clear competitive advantages and synergies, led by experienced management, will always attract investor interest. And this gives us confidence that other successful Romanian companies will start to take more and more seriously the alternative of attracting financing through the capital market", said Ioana Tănase, Investment Banking Director, Banca Comercială Română (BCR).
"After the listing, the bond issue by Agricover Holding SA will become the most representative one in terms of value launched on the BVB by a Romanian entrepreneurial group, which stands out for its synergistic business model and, of course, for being one of the most important players on the market of financing for farmers and distribution of agricultural technologies. The high interest of institutional and private banking investors in Agricover bonds confirms that shareholders of large companies in Romania find the BVB a viable platform for financing and exiting their businesses. Also from our experience as an intermediary of the Agricover offering, we are convinced that the bond offering that has just been closed is only a first step for the Agricover Group on the Bucharest Stock Exchange", said Irina Neacșu, Executive Director of Corporate Finance, BRD Groupe Societe Generale.
Agricover Group carries out Agri-Business, Agri-Finance, Agri-Food and Agri-Technology activities through the four entities controlled by Agricover Holding SA: Agricover SA, Agricover Credit IFN SA, Abatorul Periș SA and Agricover Technology SRL. The majority shareholder of Agricover Holding SA is Jabbar Kanani, with an 87.27% stake, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) holds a 12.73% stake following a capital increase in November 2017.
Since its establishment, Agricover Group has aimed to serve Romanian farmers and provide them with innovative solutions tailored to their needs, so that they can systematically and sustainably enhance their productivity through access to high-performance agricultural technologies and specialized financing tailored to the specific agricultural sector. The Group has a direct contribution to the very good performance of Romanian farmers, who, in the last decade, have steadily increased their average productivity per hectare for cereal and oilseed crops, recording in 2017-2019 a level representing 93% of the European Union average, respectively 75% of the productivity recorded in France, 77% of the productivity recorded in Germany and which exceeded by 19% the average yield of farmers in Poland.
For 2020, even in the context of the pandemic, the operating results of the Agricover Group entities were very good, in line with business forecasts. The agricultural sector faced severe drought, especially in the south-east of the country, but the performance of Romanian farmers showed good resilience, which was also reflected in the evolution and financial results of the Group's business segments.
"We have a high-performing team, have developed optimal corporate governance structures and implemented robust risk management along with clear and efficient operational processes that have enabled us to grow rapidly, benefiting from the innovative element of our business model, the synergy of business segments. We remain optimistic for this year, given that the last few months have brought significant amounts of rainfall and large areas of autumn crops have been planted. In the long term, we expect the market to become even more dynamic, favoured by the development of precision farming, the acceleration of the digitisation process in agriculture, as well as by the exchange of generations among Romanian farmers", said Ștefan Bucătaru, Member of the Board of Directors of Agricover Holding SA, coordinator of capital markets operations.
About Agricover Group
Agricover Group is one of the most important players in the Romanian agribusiness, with an activity of over 20 years. With a strongly integrated and original business model, Agricover Group supports the efficiency of the entire agricultural value chain, offering specialized solutions for the development of Romanian farmers' businesses.
Agricover Holding SA is the majority shareholder and investor in Agri-Business, Agri-Finance, Agri-Food and Agri-Technology activities carried out through its subsidiaries, Agricover SA, Agricover Credit IFN SA, Abatorul Periș SA and Agricover Technology SRL. The main shareholders of Agricover Holding SA are Jabbar Kanani, with an 87.27% stake, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with a minority stake of 12.73%, following a transaction completed in November 2017. Currently, more than 1,050 employees work in the subsidiaries of Agricover Holding SA. The Group serves a portfolio of more than 6,500 farmer customers, who farm more than 2.5 million hectares of arable land nationwide.
Agricover Credit IFN SA, established in 2007, is the first financial institution in Romania to offer financial products exclusively to farmers in the crop and livestock sectors. The most important product in the portfolio, with a share of more than 60% of total gross loans, is the working capital loan for farmers with a term of less than one year, while working capital loans with a term of more than one year represent more than 20% of the portfolio. The number of active clients of Agricover Credit IFN SA exceeded 4,000 as of 30 June 2020, the vast majority being farmers of large vegetable main crops.
Agricover SA, established in 2000, is the entity exclusively dedicated to the distribution of agricultural technologies (plant nutrition products, plant protection products, certified seeds) and fuel (diesel). The number of active customers as of 30 June 2020 exceeded 6,000, with the highest share of business represented by farmers managing areas of over 500 hectares. In October 2019, Agricover Holding SA completed a transaction whereby ADAMA, a member of the Syngenta Group, one of the global leaders in integrated plant protection solutions, became a minority shareholder in the subsidiary with a 10% stake.
Abatorul Periș SA is one of the largest and most modern pig meat slaughtering and processing plants in Romania. Since it was taken over by Agricover Group in 2015, the production unit has undergone a sustained process of modernization and re-engineering, with the investment effort carried out so far exceeding RON 50 million. On 1 April 2019, the entity's activities were outsourced by Agricover SA. Abatorul Periș SA is International Food Standard certified, has over 600 employees, operates its own chain of 29 retail stores in Bucharest and its surroundings, actively supports over 46 pig farms in Romania and has partnerships with the most important commercial chains in the country. For more references visit www.carnedeperis.ro
Agricover Technology SRL, established in October 2020, will provide Romanian farmers with access to the most innovative solutions in global agriculture and aims to help transform the way they do business today by accessing digital technologies.