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First close of agriculture fund completed
Judgment in on ASIC application against Aussie firm:

First close of agriculture fund completed

Fadi Khoury, Norton Rose Fulbright

A global firm assisted agricultural investment specialist Laguna Bay to complete a first close of its agriculture fund.

Firms: Norton Rose Fulbright (Laguna Bay)

Deal: Laguna Bay has made a successful first close of its agriculture fund.

Value: $280 million

Area: Agricultural finance

Key players: The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by partner Fadi Khoury (pictured).

Deal significance: Agricultural investment specialist Laguna Bay made a successful first close of its Laguna Bay Agricultural Fund 1.

The fund is supported by a number of experienced long-term institutional investors, as well as Laguna Bay management, together contributing approximately $280 million.

Laguna Bay aims to unlock unrealised farmland value. Its new fund has a wide mandate in the agricultural sector and aims to invest in a portfolio of low-risk, high-quality agricultural assets in Australia and New Zealand.

The focus of the fund is on the generation of a stable and growing income yield, preservation of capital and potential for long-term capital appreciation. It will be diversified by sector, location and water sources, and will invest in a range of manager-operated, joint venture and sale-leaseback assets.

"Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter, and one of the world's lowest cost producers in the key commodities we export," said Tim McGavin, co-founder and CEO of Laguna Bay.

"Yet it needs a significant amount of patient and aligned capital structured to suit agriculture. We believe the fund will be an important participant in Australian agriculture."

Norton Rose Fulbright lead partner Fadi Khoury said: "The fund's innovative design reflects the desire of many institutional and high-net-worth investors to maintain a long-term exposure to real assets like agriculture, whilst providing a periodic liquidity review regime for liquidity."

Laguna Bay is undertaking a second closing to admit an additional round of investors into the fund.

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