Sponsor Press Release: KKR
Release Date: December 4, 2014
Port Augusta and Sydney, Australia – December 4, 2014 – Sundrop Farms Holdings Limited (“Sundrop Farms” or the “Company”), a pioneering arid climate agribusiness, announced today that global investment firm KKR has provided growth capital to the Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Sundrop Farms Pty. Limited (“Sundrop Farms Australia”). The funding will be used to significantly expand Sundrop Farms’ glasshouse facility in South Australia and underpin its international development.
Sundrop Farms grows its crops in state-of-the-art glasshouses using a unique proprietary technology developed to address the water and food security issues typical to arid regions. The “Sundrop System” uses concentrated solar power to create the heat, electricity, and desalinated water needed to feed and power Sundrop’s growing operations.
Philipp Saumweber, Sundrop Farms CEO, said, “We grow food where land is too arid for farming, fresh water is in short supply and domestic food security is a concern. Farming with typical agricultural inputs would be unsustainable in these regions, so Sundrop uses renewable energy to heat, power and water its crops. Sundrop is the world’s first commercially and environmentally sustainable arid climate agriculture business, and this significant investment is at the heart of our growth strategy.”
KKR’s investment allows Sundrop Farms to scale its existing operations in Port Augusta, South Australia, by financing a 20-hectare greenhouse facility which will produce more than 15,000 tons of vegetables annually for markets across Australia. Sundrop and KKR intend to develop a hub of agricultural innovation for arid climates in Port Augusta which will allow for further development in countries with similar environmental conditions. Further to those goals, KKR’s investment in Sundrop Farms will also support its plans to expand into the Middle East, North America and other supply-constrained markets around the world.
“Sundrop Farms provides a unique and innovative solution to environmental challenges in farming,” Justin Reizes, Member and Head of KKR Australia, said. “KKR looks to invest in and partner with companies that provide solutions to environmental and societal challenges. Sundrop Farms epitomizes this effort, and we are delighted to work with this experienced and knowledgeable team to pursue new growth opportunities in Australia and internationally.”
Internationally recognized contractors John Holland Group, Aalborg CSP, and Van der Hoeven are managing the construction of the new facility. The construction and operation of each hectare of Sundrop Farms glasshouses creates long-term green employment in regions of the world which might not otherwise be home to a high-value agricultural industry. Construction of the Sundrop Farms Port Augusta expansion facility begins this month and is due for completion in 2016.