VitAg Corporation, a specialty fertilizer company, announced that the company and its affiliates recently closed equity and debt financing of more than $110 million which will be used in part to construct a biosolids-to-fertilizer facility in Zellwood, Fla.
The financings consist of (i) an equity investment led by TPG Alternative and Renewable Technologies (ART), who is now the largest shareholder in the company; (ii) a $64 million offering of 22-year tax-exempt bonds through the Orange County Industrial Finance Authority led by Citigroup Global Markets; and (iii) a credit facility from an affiliate of Tennenbaum Capital Partners. In addition to TPG ART, equity investors include strategic investors Agro-Iron, whose businesses include the production of iron micronutrients, and Shrieve Chemical, a supplier of industrial chemicals, active in the fertilizer industry. Other investors include Florida-based agricultural companies and individual investors. No additional terms were disclosed.
The new facility, to be located approximately 23 miles northwest of Orlando, is expected to produce slow release organically-enhanced premium fertilizer. The company’s fertilizer will be produced by combining biosolids, sulfuric acid and ammonia using a proprietary process, and is expected by the Company to be considered an enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF), as a significant portion of its nutrients are expected to be released over an extended period. This will allow the Company to benefit from macro trends favoring more productive fertilizers. In addition, the fertilizer will meet the US EPA’s highest standards for land application of biosolids - Class A and EQ.
CDM Constructors, a leading provider of construction services for water and wastewater facility projects worldwide, will build the facility, and A. J. Sackett will design and fabricate the granulation and warehouse storage equipment. Trammo, Inc., one of the largest global fertilizer and fertilizer raw materials merchandising and trading companies, has entered into a multi-year marketing agreement with VitAg to sell its fertilizer.
“We are very excited about the ability to produce a very green and sustainable fertilizer product. Enhanced efficiency fertilizers are gaining traction globally because of their increased performance and protection of the environment. We now have the capital to bring this next generation fertilizer to more customers and into new regions,” said Jeffrey C. Burnham, PhD, CEO and President of VitAg. “Equally important is the quality of our investors, which is a strong signal of support – TPG ART is a leading global renewable technologies investor, and our strategic investors intimately understand the fertilizer market and have strong contacts within the industry. This is an exciting time for VitAg, and we look forward to working with our new partners as we grow the company.”