Paine & Partners picks smaller target for first fund since financial crisis


Storm dark clouds over fieldFood and agriculture-focused private equity firm Paine & Partners is back in the fundraising market with a more conservative target for its first flagship fund since the financial crash.

Paine & Partners Capital Fund IV could collect up to $850m according to a filing the firm made with the US securities regulator.

That is about 30 per cent smaller than the $1.2bn it gathered for Fund III in 2007, marking the latest firm to reign in its fundraising since the end of the mid-2000s boom years.

Probitas Partners is acting as a placement agent for the vehicle, the filing shows.

Paine & Partners was founded in 2006 by Dexter Paine, who had previously co-founded private investment firm Fox Paine & Company.

Those two firms have raised more than $2.6bn of capital to date and invested in 25 platform companies and more than 80 add-on deals.

In 2012 the firm launched a new investment platform called Verdesian Life Sciences to focus on investments in plant health and nutrition.

Verdesian immediately acquired Biagro Western Sales, which focuses on protected technologies used to develop plant health and plant nutrition products in agricultural markets globally.

In March last year US turnaround investor Sun Capital Partners exited its stake in the top frozen strawberry product maker in the US to Paine & Partners.

It was reported at the time that the firm had almost fully invested Fund III and would soon be turning to a new fundraise.

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