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Herbert Smith Freehills advises agriculture-focused investment fund The Sustainable Farmland Trust on £200m IPO

15 September 2022
Deals and cases

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Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised The Sustainable Farmland Trust PLC on its intention to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, targeting gross proceeds of £200 million.

The Sustainable Farmland Trust is an investor in US-based farmland and agriculture-focused assets. Its investment manager, Intl Farming Investment Management, LLC and its affiliates (IFC), is based in the US and entirely dedicated to agricultural asset management, with over US$2.2 billion in group assets under management. As a market leader in farmland investing, IFC has owned or managed approximately 420,000 farmland and ranchland acres across over 18 US states, two Australian states and Chile, cultivating more than 80 crop types.

The Sustainable Farmland Trust plans to invest in a performing and diverse portfolio of US farmland assets held in the IFC Core Farmland Fund, LP, an existing private fund managed by IFC and, additionally, in direct farming and agricultural supply chain and infrastructure predominantly located in the US.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Corporate partner Tim West, US Securities partner Dinesh Banani and Tax partner Aurell Taussig, supported by senior associate Zoe Wilson, associates Warwick Carless and Robert Bikbulatov, trainee solicitor Lara Watkins-Truitt and paralegal Brigitte Ngowi from the funds and asset management team.

Tim West commented:

"We are delighted to have advised The Sustainable Farmland Trust on launching the first farmland-focused investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange. This vehicle will make it possible for a broad range of investors, including retail investors, to gain exposure to an asset class which they would otherwise struggle to access. It is the latest example of the advantages of the London listed investment company as a vehicle, in terms of broadening investment access to alternative asset classes."

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