Optima Fund is about to launch its first private equity vehicle.
The new American Farmland Co. is now in talks to buy up land from farmers.
They note an interesting bit of information from Barclay’s analysts that, according to Crains,
…say that increased food demand from China and India, coupled with the surge in bio-fuel usage, has depleted inventories of wheat and soybeans to levels low enough that prices are rising faster than inflation.
We’ve heard a few details differently from Crain about the launch of American Farmland, though. Optima actually has $3.5 billion under management, not the $6 billion being reported.
And so far, American Farmland has raised about $80 million from investors, one of whom is rumoured to be William von Mueffling of Cantillon Capital Management, a former hedge fund that converted to a long-only vehicle this summer.
Optima will soon be done raising money for the new PE venture and the fund’s CEO, Dixon Boardman, will close American Farmland to new investors.
Meanwhile, Farmland is a popular real inflation/disaster hedge among bearish gurus like Jim Rogers and Marc Faber
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