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BT rolls out farm fund

Thursday 10th May 2007

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BT Funds Management and Agricultural Investments (AGInvest) is seeking to raise more than $60 million for a new fund that will invest in a portfolio of quality New Zealand farms and agri-businesses.
The AGRI Private Capital Fund aims to deliver balanced, quality returns to shareholders by ordinarily investing 50% of the funds raised in high potential pastoral farms and 50% in attractive agri-businesses.
Chairman Peter Jackson, former Chairman of AFFCO, says the AGRI Fund is a unique and overdue opportunity for New Zealanders to access a diversified investment product targeting New Zealand's agricultural sector.
"The New Zealand agriculture sector has performed strongly in the past fifteen years. There is every indication that this performance will continue and bring even healthier returns, particularly in selected industries such as dairying. The AGRI Fund gives the public an opportunity to participate in that future growth and invest in the whole supply chain of our food products for attractive returns. "
BT currently manages $2.4 billion on behalf of New Zealand investors. BT will provide analytical evaluation of agri-business investments to assist in the identification of potential acquisitions.
Paul Richardson, Portfolio Manager of NZ Equities and Property of BT Funds Management, says the Agri Fund has been specifically tailored to increasing demand for a public investment product in the primary sector.
"Private equity is a favourable investment structure for this particular fund because of its long-term strategic outlook and the Asset Manager's strong incentive to align performance with those of its investors."
The Asset Manager is an experienced, Feilding based, specialist rural funds management company with a proven track record of sourcing, identifying and developing farms and agri-businesses, and achieving above average industry returns to investors. Directors Cliff King, Andrew Watters and Grant Rowan are joined in Agriculture Resources Limited by business acquisition and management specialist, Hamish McGregor (former manager business acquisition and growth at NZX-listed, Hellaby Holdings).

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