The Danish Agribusiness Fund (DAF) has invested US$12m in Chilean pork producer Coexca.

The company, the third-largest pork producer in Chile, said it aims to double its production amid the booming Asian import market, thanks to the investment, facilitated by an equity raising with Edinburgh-based agricultural investment company JB Equity over the next five years.

DAF will become one of Coexca’s largest shareholders, with the partnership seeing a total of $40m invested over the period.

The investment marks the largest of its kind in the Chilean pork sector and will enable Coexca to expand its production capacity by opening a new farm, and boosting its offering to customers both at home and abroad.

In addition to the new farm, Coexca also plans to design a new industrial-sized freezer and launch a second deboning work shift next year.

Coexca CEO Guillermo Garcia Gonzalez said he was optimistic the global demand for pork would continue to increase and said the new deal represented “an exciting new stage of development” for the company.

“Our union with DAF and JB Equity will allow us to double Coexca’s current pork production capacity and establish a new and modern pig farm in the Maule region of Chile,” he confirmed.

Coexca exports to more than 33 countries, with a significant percentage earmarked for markets in Asia. With a turnover in excess of $85m and more than 500 staff, the company also has sales offices in both Asia and Europe.
“Coexca is a good example of what cooperative and progressive farmers and professors can achieve by working with institutional investors who understand their industry,” said Helle Bjerre, vice president for DAF’s Latin American arm, which combines private and public investment to improve food production in developing countries, with backing from the Danish government.

Chileans are the biggest pork consumers in Latin America, with each person getting through nearly 22kg of the meat each year. The country is also the sixth largest pork exporter in the world and the Chilean industry has undergone huge expansion in recent years, growing by more than 800% in 30 years.

JB Equity’s chief investment officer Hamish Webb said DAF, which has previously invested in 18 pork businesses, “was one of the most experienced pork investors in the world”, going on to describe the deal as “a perfect union” between one of Chile’s top pork companies and one of Europe’s most experienced agribusiness investors.
JB Equity will also join the company as a shareholder.