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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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A&O, Pérez-Llorca guide the creation of next frontier table grape and cherry genetics

EQT´s EQT Future fund, advised by Allen & Overy, has agreed to make a significant minority investment in SNFL and acquire IFG, together with current SNFL shareholders, AM FRESH Group, advised by Pérez-Llorca, and Paine Schwartz Partners

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Following the completion of the transactions, SNFL and IFG will become an integrated business in which EQT Future will hold a significant minority stake with AM FRESH being the controlling shareholder. AM FRESH will re-invest fully and continue investing in the combined entity to finance the acquisition of IFG. This transaction represents the second investment for EQT Future.

SNFL is a breeder and licensor of table grape vines with 67 patented varieties and a significant number of licensed hectares to growers across 19 countries. The company operates R&D centers in Spain and the U.S. with a focus on disease resistance, optimized farming practices, specialty flavors, high nutritional values and extended shelf life.

Headquartered in Bakersfield, California, IFG is a breeder and licensor of table grape vines and cherry trees varieties. The company uses natural breeding practices to provide growers with improved economics through reduction of resource usage and enhanced agricultural productivity. IFG was founded in 2001 and holds 47 patented table grape vines varieties, cherry trees varieties and a significant number of licensed hectares to growers across 15 countries.

AM FRESH Group is a global fresh food company focused on spearheading varietal innovation, agriscience and biotechnology, extensive farming and global commercialization of Citrus, Table Grapes, Tropical & Superfoods, Plant-Based Foods, Top-fruit, and Flowers at scale. Equipped with over 90 years of expertise, AM FRESH Group is privately held, present in over 60 countries with 6.200 employees with a passion and commitment to innovation, it operates as an end-to-end vertically integrated model to serve the top retailers worldwide.

The companies’ teams of geneticists, molecular biologists, agronomists and technologists have developed innovative new patented grape and cherry varieties for over two decades. In addition to being more resistant to disease, which reduces the need for harmful fungicides, the grapes are more durable, have higher yields, are more resistant to weather changes, have more consistent taste and have higher nutritional values. The companies have developed significant expertise in innovative fruit breeding over several decades, creating broad gene banks, which form the foundation for the evolution of new varieties.

EQT Future invests in companies that are transforming industries to deliver meaningful results for people and the planet. EQT Future will leverage its existing impact management framework to accelerate impact, support investments in digitalization and innovative breeding technologies and support the Companies’ continued pursuit of R&D excellence. The companies are expected to leverage EQT’s inhouse digital and tech expertise, global presence and network of advisors to strengthen their systems and organizations.

Morrison & Foerster LLP was the lead legal counsel for SNFL whilst Allen & Overy and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP were counsel for EQT Future with Pérez-Llorca and Bank of America advising AM FRESH. Credit Suisse served as financial advisor and Dentons US LLP served as legal advisor to IFG in relation to the transaction.

Pérez-Llorca advised AM Fresh with a team comprising Corporate partner Iván Delgado, Competition partners Juan Jiménez-Laiglesia and Jaime de Blas, Litigation & Arbitration partner Félix J. Montero, Tax paertner José Ramón Vizcaíno, Corporate lawyers Iciar de Lorenzo and Tobías Kálnay, and Competition lawyer Inmaculada Vigón.

PLL associates AM Fresh
Iciar de lorenzo, Tobías Kálnay and Inmaculada Vigón

Allen & Overy advised EQT with a team led by Corporate/M&A partner Íñigo del Val.

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