Investments in Farm Tech grew by 40% growth leaders - biotechnology and agriculture

As devastating as the pandemic has been, some good has emerged from the global health and economic crisis: investment to shore up global food systems has soared. Back in February we confirmed the extent of the boost investors gave entrepreneurs across the foodtech and agtech industry — 34.5% year-over-year to be precise.

And while we noticed a surge in investor interest in “upstream” technologies, those operating closer to the farm and in food production — alternative proteins, for instance — we now have numbers that show particular investor interest in technologies for farmers.

“Farm Tech” investing soared to $7.9 billion in 2020, topping 2019 investments by $2.3 trillion, or 41%, according to AgFunder’s 2021 Farm Tech Investment Report, in collaboration with Upstream Ag Insights.

To put this in perspective, Farm Tech’s acceleration was about six percentage points greater than agrifoodtech overall — that's foodtech and farm tech combined — and 37 percentage points ...

Aug. 2, 2021

ArcelorMittal Wants to Build First Big Zero-Carbon Steel Plant

ArcelorMittal SA has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Spanish government for a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) investment to build the world’s first large-scale zero-carbon steel plant.

The company would build a unit that processes iron ore using green hydrogen at its plant in Gijon, a spokesperson for the firm said in a statement today. That metal would then supply a mill in Sestao that would use renewable electricity to produce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon-free steel a year.

It would be the biggest green steel plant coming online by 2025 globally, and represents a significant step for an industry facing a titanic decarbonizing task.

Steelmaking relies on burning billions of tons of coal, emitting more carbon dioxide each year than cars, buses and motorbikes combined. Upgrading to zero-carbon production will require massive investment, something the usually low margin business may struggle to afford.

It’s not certain how much cash Spain will ...

July 28, 2021

Dan Pickering’s Energy Firm Merges with Heikkinen Energy Advisors

Pickering Energy Partners merged with Heikkinen Energy Advisors, the Houston-based firms, forming Pickering Energy Partners Insights—billed as the “most comprehensive” investment adviser in the energy industry.

Headquartered in Houston, Pickering Energy Partners is an asset management and consulting firm specializing in energy investments. The merger with Heikkinen Energy Advisors is the latest evolution of the firm’s offerings focused on the energy landscape and solidifies its role in energy transition as the partnership allows the firm to offer even greater value to clients across all energy subsectors, “from traditional to renewables,” according to Dan Pickering, chief investment officer of Pickering Energy Partners.

Also headquartered in Houston with an additional office in New Orleans, Heikkinen Energy Advisors is an investment adviser providing insights across all sectors of the energy industry including E&P, oilfield services, midstream, energy transition, mobility and technology.

“The merger will provide greater opportunities to exploit growth opportunities in oil and gas, the ...

July 23, 2021

Autonomous driving start-up Aurora plans to go public through SPAC deal with initial value of $11 billion

Aurora, a self-driving firm, is going public by merging with a special purpose acquisition firm in a deal that values it at $13 billion, a premium to rivals. One day, the firm thinks it can transform transportation, and maybe it can. But what it’s worth depends on when the market for autonomous vehicles arrives – a risk for its many peers too.

Several self-driving firms are going public or already have, giving credibility to the idea that autonomous vehicles will go mainstream. Embark Trucks, which makes software to use on multiple trucks is valued at 1.6 times 2025 revenue, while TuSimple (TSP.O), which is already public, is valued at 5 times the same year. Aurora’s merger with Reinvent Technology Partners Y (RTPY.O) values it at over 80 times 2025 revenue, and a more reasonable 5 times projected 2027 revenue.

Of all of them, Aurora talks a good game. Its executives include the ...

July 19, 2021

Aleph Farms Launches 'Aleph Zero' Program to Grow Steaks in Space

Aleph Farms, Ltd., the leader in growing quality steaks directly from non-GMO cells, isolated from a living animal – is taking a bold new step toward accelerating extraterrestrial food production, which has been a main barrier for long-term space missions. The company announces the launch of its 'Aleph Zero' program. This project will forward its vision for advancing food security by producing fresh quality meat anywhere, independent of climate change and of availability of local natural resources.

The core mission of the new initiative is centered on introducing new capabilities for locally producing fresh, quality meat even in the most harsh and remote extraterrestrial environments, such as space.

To the achieve this goal, Aleph Farms is securing strategic partnerships with technology companies and space agencies for long term collaborative research and development contracts that will ensure the integration of Aleph Farms' innovations into leading space programs. These programs will leverage the company's ...

July 14, 2021

Philip Morris International acquires Fertin Pharma / Day for $ 820 million

The acquisition will strengthen our company’s transformation process toward the introduction of innovative smokeless products that will replace traditional cigarettes and tobacco products in the foreseeable future, as well as improve our smokeless product portfolio and progress in nicotine-free product development, “said Jacek Olchak, PMI CEO.

Fertin Pharma, which employs 850 people in Denmark, Canada and India, manufactures pharmaceutical chewing gum with nicotine, as well as other pharmaceuticals that help to quit smoking. In 2020 Fertin Pharma net revenue was DKK 1.1 billion (approximately USD 160 million). The transaction value is approximately 15 times greater than Fertin Pharma 2020 EBITDA.

Now Fertin Pharma is owned by the global investment organization EQT and Bagger-Sørensen & Co. In the statement Philip Morris International notes that the transaction will be funded from accrued funds and is expected to be concluded in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the approval of the relevant regulators. ...

July 9, 2021

Qatar Petroleum grabs $12.5 bln in emerging market bonds record

Qatar Petroleum (QP), one of the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers, sold $12.5 billion in a jumbo four-tranche bond deal on Wednesday, a document showed, its first public bond sale and the biggest issuance out of emerging markets this year.

QP sold $1.5 billion in a five-year portion at 50bps over U.S. Treasuries (UST), $3.5 billion in 10-year paper at 90 bps over UST, $3.5 billion in 20-year notes at 3.15% and $4 billion in 30-year Formosa bonds at 3.3%.

The bonds landed roughly 10-15 bps wider than the sovereign's curve, which investors likened to Saudi oil giant Aramco's debt compared with Saudi sovereign debt.

QP, which supplies one in five LNG cargoes globally, will use the proceeds for operational and investment purposes, including for its North Field expansion project, the bonds' prospectus said.

QP signed a contract in February for the first phase of its North Field LNG expansion project, which ...

July 5, 2021

New investment to accelerate commercialization of geothermal

With a strong oil and gas sector base, the State of Texas is clearly seeing some exciting development related to a pivot from oil and gas to geothermal energy. This is demonstrated by several interesting new start ups entering the geothermal space, such as Sage Geosystems Inc. (Sage). Earlier this year, we reported on the company’s planned project to utilise a closed-loop system to derive geothermal energy near a military installation in Texas. The company is working on efforts that would adapt current drilling techniques and equipment to access heat in sedimentary formations around the world.

Now the company, together with Nabors Industries (Nabors), and Virya, LLC (Virya) announce the signing of a $12 million financing led by Nabors. Nabors and Virya will invest $10 million and $2 million, respectively.

Nabors is a leading provider of advanced technology for the global energy industry, including advanced drilling automation capabilities, directional drilling services, and ...

June 30, 2021

Raven Industries Soars on $2.1 Billion CNH Industrial Deal

Get Report shares soared on Monday, climbing nearly 50%, after CNH Industrial  (CNHI) - Get Report said it has struck a deal to buy the agricultural equipment maker in a tie-up valued at $2.1 billion.

CNH will pay $58 a share for Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Raven, a 33.6% premium to Raven’s four-week volume-weighted average stock price, giving it an enterprise value of $2.1 billion, the companies said Monday.

Owned by the billionaire Agnelli family, London-based CNH said the deal will allow it to beef up its agricultural business with precision-technology tools as the Italian-American construction equipment maker prepares to spin off its truck, bus and engine operations.

CNH said it expects $400 million of revenue synergies from the deal by 2025 and to add $150 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. The Agnelli family’s Exor NV controls CNH with 42.5% of voting rights.

CNH announced plans in 2019 to split ...

June 25, 2021

JPMorgan Buys Digital Wealth Firm Nutmeg for U.K. Expansion

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to buy U.K. digital wealth manager Nutmeg Saving and Investment as it seeks to expand its mobile banking service for retail investors in the country.

Nutmeg has more than 140,000 customers and manages over 3.5 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) of assets, according to a statement from the U.S. bank Thursday. JPMorgan’s digital bank Chase will be launched in the U.K. later this year, it said.

The deal values Nutmeg at close to 700 million pounds, according to people familiar with the matter. The U.S. bank didn’t disclose how much it paid.

The U.K. digital move has been planned for more than two years as part of a closely-guarded project. The biggest U.S. bank gets almost 50% of its revenue from a consumer business that has operated only in the U.S., though the firm has long deliberated whether to bring its offerings to the rest of the world.