Daily News: January 4, 2012

Norwest Equity Invests in Actagro; GE, Others Provide Financing


Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a middle-market investment firm, announced that it has made a significant investment in Actagro, LLC, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of organic liquid and specialty plant nutrients. NEP invested alongside a group of Actagro employees in this transaction, which closed on December 30, 2011. Norwest Mezzanine Partners, GE Antares Capital and Madison Capital Funding participated in the financing for this transaction.

With products designed to complement conventional plant nutrition, Actagro is committed to helping progressive and profitable growers achieve higher, more cost effective crop yields through agronomically sound plant nutrition programs. Actagro creates products that are more stable than most liquid fertilizers and allow for more efficient plant uptake. Sold to agricultural retailers and distributors, Actagro products allow for lower amounts of fertilizer and nutrients, offering an environmentally sustainable and lower cost solution for growers.

Agriculture investment opportunities are a primary focus for NEP. In 2004, NEP invested in Becker Underwood, an Iowa-based global supplier of non-pesticide specialty chemical and biological products. Since its investment, NEP has helped the company more than double in size, broadening its global footprint. NEP was initially introduced to Actagro five years ago and has since followed the Company’s success, led by CEO Carl Ueland and his management team. NEP’s investment in Actagro is a natural fit with the firm’s agriculture investment strategy.

Todd Solow, NEP partner and Actagro board member, stated, “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner and work with Carl and the entire Actagro team. They operate an extremely well-run company with best-in-class, proprietary manufacturing. It has performed very well within this niche market and is well-positioned for continued momentum and growth.”

Ueland shared, “This new investment partnership marks an exciting time for our company. We look forward to a promising future and to working together with the NEP team.”

Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Biola, CA, Actagro has more than 60 employees and operates manufacturing facilities in Biola and Osceola, Arkansas. Actagro has been majority-owned by RedCloud Capital since 2008. For more information, please visit www.actagro.com.

Norwest Equity Partners is an investment firm focused on building companies into industry leaders.