U.S. Markets

Cargill subsidiary Black River spins off private equity firm

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] subsidiary Black River Asset Management LLC announced on Monday the spinoff of a private equity firm focused on food, agriculture, mining and metals investments primarily in developing countries.

With more than $2.1 billion in assets under management, Minnesota-based Proterra Investment Partners is one of three independent companies emerging from Black River after Cargill announced its subsidiary’s breakup in September.

Cargill is in a restructuring aimed at transforming the 150-year-old company into one more responsive to commodities market swings. Losses stemming from the liquidation of hedge funds managed by Black River dragged down Cargill profit in the company’s most recent quarter.

Employee-owned Proterra said it would retain all of its fund commitments and limited partners, including Cargill.

Proterra has $782 million in investments in three food-focused funds, $1.2 billion in three agriculture-related funds and $165 million in a metals and mining fund, the company said.

The firm has investments in regions of Asia, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa and in South America, said Ned Dau, Proterra’s chief marketing officer and head of investor relations.

“We think all of those areas provide opportunities,” he said in an interview on Monday. Dau added that Proterra’s investments included farmland development and management, shipping infrastructure and companies focused on production and processing of foods like meat and dairy.

Dau declined to elaborate on the fund’s investment strategy.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Proterra has offices in London, Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore and New Delhi. The company employs 49 staff in those cities as well as Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.

Reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by Peter Cooney