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Agri Fund still two-thirds short

Monday 6th August 2007

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The AGRI Private Capital Fund IPO has fallen well short of its $16 million minimum and has given itself another six weeks to raise the balance.

To date, the AGRI Fund has received applications for 5.6 million shares of the 16 million required for the AGRI Fund to proceed, predominantly from small shareholders.

AGRI Fund chairman Peter Jackson says the offer will now close on September 14, subject to the minimum subscription amount of $16 million being raised by 9th September 2007.

The intention of the offer extension is to give more time for institutions to complete due diligence processes, already underway.

"Private equity in agriculture is a relatively new investment product, and therefore the key potential cornerstone shareholders we are currently in discussions with require more time to conduct due diligence. We are confident that, by giving these institutions more time, we will reach the minimum subscription," he says.

"We believe now is the time to invest in agriculture with New Zealand beginning to see the impact of a world 'food shock', driven by tight supplies of dairy and agricultural products worldwide.

"Demand for milk products in Asia, particularly China are expected to grow at double-digit levels in the next five years and the world is also beginning to see the effect of large tracts of land in the United States being converted from corn to ethanol for bio-fuel. This is translating into internationally driven higher commodity prices," Jackson says.

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