Amerra Capital pulls in $180 mln for two latest agriculture funds

  • M.D. Sass, Macquarie back firm
  • Firm targets $750 mln for Amerra Agri Offshore Fund
  • Amerra’s founders remain at the helm


Amerra Capital Management LLC said it drew $180 million in commitments for its two most recent private equity funds investing in the agriculture sector.

They’re part of a total of $1.25 billion in disclosed capital raised in the seven years since M.D. Sass and Macquarie Financial Strategies LP teamed up to launch the firm.

Amerra raised $150.5 million toward a $750 million target for Amerra Agri Offshore Fund III LP and $30.3 million toward a $250 million target for Amerra Agri PE Fund LP, Oct. 18 Form D filings show.

Among its past funds, the largest was Amerra Agri Fund II LP, which disclosed $383 million in commitments and a target of $500 million in May 2014. (See: Chart of Amerra Capital’s PE funds.

Craig Tashjian and Nancy Obler, managing directors, remain at the helm of Amerra Capital, according to the firm’s ADV filing with regulators. The two helped set up the New York firm in 2009 after working at Societe Generale.

Amerra does not have a website. A spokesman for the firm declined comment.

Amerra lists Bobby Liu as its general counsel, Walter Pye as manager, Pat Morabito as chief operating officer and Stephen Button as chief financial officer. David Gould, head of investor relations, joined Amerra in April; he’s been a managing director at Banco Pine, his LinkedIn profile shows.

The firm focuses on direct origination of corporate debt, mostly with privately held agricultural-commodity producers, processors, distributors, marketers and traders in the Americas. It also invests in and buys corporate debt, equities and convertible debt.

Amerra requires a minimum investment of $1 million in its funds, which invest in companies involved in soft commodities such as sugar and coffee, grains, edible oils and biofuels.

A LinkedIn profile for Amerra Capital Management says the firm employs 11 to 50 people as a registered investment adviser.

Amerra provides senior secured to junior debt investments, including working capital such as inventory, pre-export/pre-crop and trade, land transformation and acquisition finance plus capital-expenditure programs.

The firm disclosed $1.31 billion in regulated assets under management on a discretionary basis and $133 million on a non-discretionary basis, according to a filing.

Action Item: Reach David Gould in IR:

A coffee picker on Jan. 9, 2013, carries sacks of coffee cherries at a plantation in El Crucero, about 20 km (12 miles) south of Managua, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas