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Mexican agricultural real estate firm hopes to raise $266 mln

By Carolina Police

MEXICO CITY, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Mexico’s AgroFibra will launch a firm focused on real estate investments in agriculture, the company’s top executive said on Tuesday, aiming to take advantage of strong demand for fresh produce in the United States States.

AgroFibra will hold its initial public offering on the Bolsa Institucional de Valores (Biva) on Friday, expecting to raise 5.25 billion pesos ($266 million).

AgroFibra, an agricultural equivalent of real estate investment trusts in the United States, aims to acquire, sell, lease back and build properties. Its broad focus extends from developing farming facilities to handling their logistics, CEO Jorge Guajardo told Reuters.

Guajardo said all of the company’s current tenants export farm commodities and generate US dollars from assets such as greenhouses.

AgroFibra will initially pay quarterly dividends, but plans to eventually distribute monthly payments, Guajardo said.

AgroFibra’s IPO comes as some international firms focused on selling to US buyers see opportunities to set up shop in neighboring Mexico.

Credit Suisse, Finamex, Citibanamex, BTG Pactual, Actinver and Fimecap will manage the IPO, AgroFibra said.

Agriculture represents nearly 9% of Mexico’s economy, according to the company, while exports to the farming sector grew to $19.9 billion in 2021, from $14.84 billion in 2016, government data show.

While some analysts say AgroFibra can overcome adverse economic factors such as rising inflation, Guajardo expressed caution.

“Current inflation is a challenge,” he said, adding that he nevertheless remains confident in the short term.

Monex analyst Jose Roberto Solano believes economic recovery in Mexico should help real estate investments boost dividend payments, including for AgroFibra.

“The recovery environment of the industrial, commercial and office sectors, ‘closeness’ and the ability to raise capital will continue to make the (property) sector attractive,” he said. ($1 = 19.7342 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Carolina Pulice; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Leslie Adler)

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