AIG Backs Calyx Agro

AIG Investments has made a $65 million equity investment in Calyx Agro Ltd., a platform sponsored by Louis Dreyfus Commodities to acquire, develop, operate and sell agricultural land in Latin America (primarily in Brazil).

 

PRESS RELEASE

AIG Investments today announced a US $65 million investment in Calyx Agro Ltd. (“Calyx Agro”). Calyx Agro is a venture sponsored by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a leading agribusiness group, to acquire, develop, operate, and sell agricultural land in Latin America, primarily in Brazil.

The equity investment will be funded primarily by AIG Brazil Special Situations Fund II, L.P. (“BSSF II”) and Louis Dreyfus Commodities CA Holdings Ltd. BSSF II is a private equity fund focused on direct investments primarily in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. AIG Investments recently announced the Fund's closing with US $691.9 million in committed capital.

With this investment, Calyx Agro plans to capitalize on the region's growing agribusiness sector and potential for farmland appreciation by acquiring land that is presently operating with low technology or used for livestock breeding. In turn, the company will seek to improve production yields, which is expected to ultimately drive a higher resale value of the land.

“We believe that productive farmland will continue to be in high demand driven by the world's growing appetite for agricultural commodities and Latin America's competitive position in global trade,” said Ana Vigon, Managing Director and Head of Latin America Private Equity at AIG Investments.

“Calyx Agro's unique value-creating model, experienced management team, and world-class sponsorship by Louis Dreyfus Commodities present a compelling opportunity to invest in the growing agricultural sector,” added Marcelo Aguiar, a Director based in Sao Paulo, who led AIG Investments' participation in the transaction.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with AIG Investments and the rest of Calyx Agro's investor group, pooling our financial resources and leveraging on Calyx Agro's experienced management team and Louis Dreyfus Commodities' in-depth knowledge of the agricultural sector. We see a range of opportunities in the farmland sector which should offer Calyx Agro attractive investments in the years ahead,” said Serge Schoen, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Dreyfus Commodities.

The investment in Calyx Agro will be AIG Investments' fourth in the Latin American agriculture sector, following investments in Falcon Farms, a premiere grower and distributor of fresh cut flowers with production based in Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico, Frigorifico Mercosul, a leading Brazilian beef processor, and Fertilizantes Heringer, one of the largest fertilizer distributors in Brazil.

About AIG Investments

AIG Investments is a global leader in asset management with extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, hedge, private equity, and real estate investments. Member companies of AIG Investments manage more than US $750 billion in assets and employ over 2,500 professionals in 46 offices around the world as of March 31, 2008. AIG Investments is the asset management arm of American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG).

About Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Louis Dreyfus Commodities, one of the world's leading commodity merchants and processors of agricultural products, has merchandised and traded bulk commodities in international markets since 1851. Louis Dreyfus Commodities owns or operates considerable industrial assets around the world to conduct its global trading and merchandising activities. As a result, Louis Dreyfus Commodities is consistently ranked as one of the world's largest merchandisers of grains and oilseeds, is one of the three world's largest producers of orange juice (15% global market share), is the third largest producer of sugar in Brazil, the world's biggest exporting country, and is the largest trader and merchandiser of raw cotton in the world. The company is also a leader in the coffee, rice, metals and freight markets. Louis Dreyfus Commodities has an emerging worldwide presence in the expanding biofuels sector, including a leading position in the Brazilian ethanol market. Louis Dreyfus Commodities operates from five major regions (Argentina, Brazil, North America, Europe and Asia), and offices in Beijing, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Geneva, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Wilton (USA) serve as major coordination centers for merchandising activities. Louis Dreyfus Commodities is an affiliate of the Louis Dreyfus Group, an organization of diversified companies privately owned by the Louis-Dreyfus family. The global activities of Louis Dreyfus Commodities are vertically integrated under a holding company, Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV, which is based in the Netherlands.