- First-of-its-kind US$50 million structured Sukuk financing solution, led by SHUAA Capital, reflects demand for Islamic and green investments
- The Sukuk, anchored by Franklin Templeton Investments (ME) Ltd., is complemented by a simultaneous US$10 million incremental growth equity raise, led by Sancta Capital as well as new and existing investors
- Funding follows US$29.3 million Series A financing and sizeable Abu Dhabi Investment Office grant funding, both completed in 2H’2020
- Investment during COVID pandemic underscores focus on food security and independence. Company planting in new UAE facilities in late-March 2021
15 March 2021 – Abu Dhabi, UAE: Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a world-leading, sustainable technology-enabled agribusiness, today announced that it has secured US$50 million in growth funding through an Islamic structured finance solution, led by SHUAA Capital psc [DFM: SHUAA]. This unique growth-financing/ venture-debt solution is a highly structured Sukuk with embedded warrants, which reflects the innovative financing capabilities of SHUAA Capital. The sukuk comes on the heels of a successful second growth equity raise of US$10 million, led by Sancta Capital in January 2021.
Sky Kurtz, Founder and CEO at Pure Harvest Smart Farms, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this innovative structured financing solution that supports our aggressive growth campaign within the GCC region. We are passionate about our mission to make local-for-local production of high-quality fresh produce possible anywhere, including within the harsh climate of our home the Arabian Gulf. World events like the COVID pandemic highlight the critical need for homegrown food solutions to reduce our reliance upon international supply chains. This type of financing underscores the innovation occurring within the region’s venture capital markets. Congratulations to our financing partners for this first-of-its-kind solution. We thank you for believing in us.”
Founded in Abu Dhabi on the premise that the region needs local, sustainable food sources, Pure Harvest is soon to complete its third hybrid greenhouse growing system within the Emirates, is currently constructing its beachhead in Saudi Arabia, and has announced a further EUR 39 million expansion project in Kuwait. Upon completion of its new projects the company will produce a variety of tomatoes, leafy greens, and berries, with plans to continue to diversify its offering in the future. The capital raised through these transactions will be used to support Pure Harvest’s capacity expansions, attract new talent to the company’s fast-growing team, advance research & development activities (including various innovation projects in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office), and to facilitate new market entry.
Natasha Hannoun from SHUAA, the region’s leading asset management and investment banking platform, commented: “At SHUAA, we have a strong track record in identifying businesses with market-leading propositions and teams and Pure Harvest fits this criterion perfectly. We witnessed Pure Harvest Smart Farms’ leadership in Agriculture Technology (AgTech), the strength of the team, and its proven ability to execute, giving us the confidence that Pure Harvest has significant growth potential as it seeks to address the need for food security within the Gulf and wider region.
“We are delighted that SHUAA has been able to deliver this innovative and highly complex structured financing solution for Pure Harvest Smart Farms in another regional first. This funding will help the company to scale into a major regional player in controlled-environment agriculture and we are excited to back the region’s AgTech champion when it comes to food security, sustainability and economic diversification.”
Mohieddine Kronfol, CIO of Global Sukuk and MENA Fixed Income at Franklin Templeton, spoke about why Pure Harvest is an attractive investment. He said: “Investor interest in access to middle market credit transactions is increasing across the region, and is particularly exciting in growth sectors that are addressing global challenges like food security and water scarcity. We’re backing the region’s pioneer in high-tech agriculture and supporting their efforts to have a large-scale impact in the markets they serve. This investment reflects our ESG and Sharia compliant mandates, and we wish the company continued success.”
Gus Chehayeb, CIO of Sancta Capital, said: “Sancta Capital is proud to play an active role in Pure Harvest’s Sukuk and growth equity raises. The company is the region’s most advanced AgTech player and has built significant brand awareness, defensible intellectual property, and a top-tier management team with a large, vested interest in its success”.
Pure Harvest has proven that the Gulf can serve as an excellent agricultural base, where abundant sunlight, vast land, affordable electricity and labor, and ample CO2 can be optimized to beat the landed cost of comparable quality imported fresh produce from industrial greenhouses within Europe, resulting in compelling production economics. The company is enhancing the region’s food security, providing consumers fresher and more sustainable choices, creating local jobs, and driving lucrative opportunities for investors.”
About Pure Harvest Smart Farms
Pure Harvest Smart Farms is a technology-enabled agribusiness based in the UAE, focused on year-round, sustainable production of premium quality fresh fruits & vegetables. As makers of the Middle East’s first commercial-scale, semi-automated high-tech hybrid greenhouse food production system, Pure Harvest leverages innovative growing technologies & horticultural best practices to enable local-for-local production of affordable, sustainably-grown, pesticide-free fresh produce anywhere. Pioneering controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) in the Middle East, Pure Harvest’s mission is to tackle some of the region’s biggest problems using technology to provide agriculture solutions that address food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and sustainability needs. For more information please visit www.pureharvest.ae.
About SHUAA Capital
SHUAA Capital psc [DFM: SHUAA] is a leading asset management and investment banking platform, with over USD 14 billion in assets under management. SHUAA Capital psc is recognized for its strong track record and pioneering approach to investing through a differentiated, innovative and global product offering focused on public and private markets, debt and real estate.
The asset management segment, one of the region’s largest, manages real estate funds and projects, investment portfolios and funds in the regional equities, fixed income and credit markets; it also provides investment solutions to clients, with a focus on alternative investment strategies. The investment banking segment provides corporate finance advisory, transaction services, private placement, public offerings of equity and debt securities, while also creating market liquidity on OTC fixed income products. The firm is regulated as a financial investment company by the Securities and Commodities Authority.
To learn more about SHUAA Capital, please visit https://www.shuaa.com/
About Franklin Templeton
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company brings extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has over 70 years of investment experience and approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of February 28, 2021. For more information, please visit franklinresources.com, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
About Sancta Capital
Sancta Capital is an award-winning alternative investment firm focused on special situations and deep-value investing in the Middle East and Africa. The firm invests across the corporate capital structure in securities that are neglected or misunderstood by the broader investment community. This includes publicly-listed debt and equities, as well as distressed and non-performing private loans and claims.
Sancta Capital Partners LP, the firm’s flagship fund, is concentrated, absolute-return focused, utilizes zero leverage, and emphasizes preservation of capital. The fund’s investment focus and approach to portfolio construction has ensured that its returns are uncorrelated and that its performance is resilient in bull and bear markets.
To learn more about Sancta Capital, please visit http://sanctacapital.com.