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Private Equity Investing In Agribusiness Companies

New York City, New York

June 2012
8:00AM - 5:00PM Thursday
Co-chair Michelle Brooks leads the food and agriculture investment efforts of Arlon Capital Partners, where has been responsible for recent investment in Kettle Cuisine and Wholesome Sweeteners. Before joining Arlon, Michelle was a principal with Weston Presidio, a middle-market private equity firm with $3.3B in assets, where she led due diligence and investment execution in a variety of sectors. She graduated from Harvard College with a BA in government and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. Co-chair Jim Wood leads strategy, growth initiatives, and acquisitions at Clemens Family Corp. He developed its turnaround strategy and corporate restructuring, which is used as a case study at Kellogg School of Management. He is author of The Next Level: Essential Strategies for Breakthrough Growth published by Perseus Book Group. Jim was previously with Ernst & Young’s New England consulting practice, and with Inc. Magazine’s growth strategy consulting group. He has a BS from State University of New York, and an MS from Northeastern University. Along with Jim and Michelle, we’ll have a team of 20 panelists whose agribusiness deal experiences include every aspect of the food supply chain. You’ll hear from GPs, portfolio company operating executives, investment bankers, lenders, consultants, and more -- all eager to share their specialized knowledge. We’ll look at global issues in agribusiness that affect all middle-market companies competing for business. For instance, China is emerging as a very large consumer of agricultural foodstuffs, and is seeking to be a major producer. The upcoming renewal of the Farm Bill in Congress will be explored: what it means for growers and what subsidies and trade policies will be in play. And we’ll examine the impact of biofuels, which continue to trend upwards and drive price inflation in many commodities. The portion of the U.S. corn crop going to ethanol is increasing dramatically, which takes food out of the system and makes the cost of such products as chicken feed artificially high. With only so much arable land, the industry needs to balance demand in order to meet everyone’s needs.